Category: Couture

The Oscars 2018

With dresses it’s personal, but given timeless elegance with a touch of vintage or eyeball hogging extravaganza the first will win every time.  Like Laura Dern in Calvin Klein by Appointment pure cool, sleek understatement.

Looking with new eyes, never is the difference between men and women more visual than on Oscar night, hashtag – when will we see a man in a dress? This is Gal Gaddot in Givenchy with just the right amount of flapper girl swing.

2018 marks another year with little experimentation, hence Haley Bennett in Christian Dior makes my best dressed list.  A brave choice and with any luck, the current PC storm will suppress any bush trimming innuendos. Who knows?

Zoey Deutch in Elie Saab Couture sneaked in because it shouldn’t work, but it does.

(All pics Vogue)

 

Phoebe Waller Bridge, a particular icon of mine, looking demure in Vionnet.  Except I lay good money she chose the print to match her beauty spot and trod the carpet giggling inside…Go Phoebe!

 

Laters, Kate x

 

 

The 2017 Oscars..

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Well the 2017 Oscar night was a one to remember. Maybe not for all the best reasons….But Emma Stone, resplendent but slightly safe in gold Givenchy obviously didn’t let it ruin her evening.

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Always a treat for the eyes, The Oscars is like watching a living shooting range: Ruth Negga in Valentino…miss..

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Nicole Kidman in Armani Prive: Boring colour..but hit.

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Janelle Monae: Wrong era…miss.

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Dakota Johnson in Gucci: What IS that thing at the front? Miss.

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Jessica Biel in Kaufmanfranco: For some this was a winner..maybe you needed to see it in the flesh. For me, moth eaten and mangy. Miss.

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Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton. Why?

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Emma Roberts proving that black and cream is never the way to go.

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Scarlett Johansson gets the grannies curtain prize.

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Whilst the sack prize(As in looks like rather than would be good in…) goes to Felicity Jones in Dior.

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The doing-something-different-and-succeeding award goes to Sofia Boutella.

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Proving that simplicity works: Sting and Trudie Styler.

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And best dressed award of the night goes to Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford..

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I’m sorry, that was a mistake. Best dressed award goes to Karlie Kloss in Stella McCartney?

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Damn it. Best dressed award goes to Halle Berry in Versace for being sassy, hot and totally in the zone.

Laters, Kate x

Best of the Baftas..

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Top prize: Emily Blunt in McQueen. Does everything a great dress should – of particular note are those clever shoulders and beautiful embroidery – not too much, but just enough.

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Close second: Hannah Bagshaw with husband, also in McQueen…could there be a theme?

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Taylor Hill scores points for vintage Hollywood glamour.

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Daisy Ridley: A winner for not taking it too seriously.

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Isabelle Huppert in Chloe: Those sleeves and sheer elegance.

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Penelope Cruz: For shaking it up.

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(All pictures Pinterest)

Anya Taylor Joy in Gucci: Because it shouldn’t work, but it does.

Roll on the Oscars hey. And the odd dead swan.

Laters, Kate x

The Essex Taj Mahal x

 

Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry

When was the last time you were touched by someone so brilliant they made your head start sub-dividing?

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Stand back and welcome previous Turner Prize winner and national gem, Grayson Perry and his new project, a House for Essex: a collaboration with Charles Holland and the architecture studio FAT.  Built in Wrabness this huge marmite piece of art is a monumental shrine to a completely fictional character, a lady called Julie May Cope and is dedicated to the ‘Single mums of Dagenham, hairdressers in Colchester and the landscape and history of Essex’. The house holds testament to Perry’s visions of Julie’s life, through her birth in Canvey Island in 1953 to her two marriages, her children, her work all the way to her sudden death at the hands of a pizza delivery moped on Colchester High Street at the premature age of 61.

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On the outside there’s a shining copper roof and 1924 glazed terracotta sigils of St jules.

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Inside, the main room is in the style of a chapel to pay homage to the life of an ordinary woman.

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There are biographical tapestries and pictures over the ceilings with snap shots of her history.

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In pride of place and hanging as a chandelier is the very moped that killed her.

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Upstairs, the two bedrooms are dedicated to her two marriages..the second of which was a story of true, tender love which permeates through the whole building and draws it together.

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Kitsch, ebullient and eccentric it may be, but the joy of Perry is that in his work, as in his life, he describes the truth as he sees it.  Underneath the undeniable humour, there’s a deeper, thicker message running through.   This is a celebration of a modesty of aspiration and acquisitions that uses high art to pay homage to the notion of hard work and normality.  It’s one mans couture shrine to the silver linings and special moments that bless every single life, no matter how hard or down trodden.  Which ties up nicely with why it was commissioned in the first place: It’s part of philosopher and critic Alain de bottom’s (great name hashtag-childish-sense-of-humour) Living Architecture programme to allow members of the public – that’s you and me – to stay in buildings by world class contemporary designers. Click here for more details for your own personal taste of Julie’s life.

Imagine…a weekend away…here??

Laters, Kate x

Nicely Niche..

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I was speaking to a friend yesterday about the appeal of embroidered patches and we were discussing where to buy them.  I don’t know the cheapest place to find them (any suggestions gratefully received – I’ll pass them on) but I do know the best:

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Hand and Lock has provided the finest hand embroidery since 1767, offering everything from civilian to military regalia to ecclesiastical to couture.

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They have the skill to produce intricate delights such as this.

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Which can then with their bespoke service and be translated, if you so wish, into…well..the imagination is your limit.

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They also offer a range of machine embroidered badges, perfect for every day.  You know they know their stuff because the sizes are perfect.

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This place is a little slice of living history – it’s even possible to take part in workshops or tour the atelier. This is Britain at it’s best.

 

Laters, Kate x

Hats Off!

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Hats are having a moment..the humble bobble is back big time..so maybe there’s hope for the rest hitting the mainstream again.

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It would be fun.  Hats may not speak, but they say volumes about an outfit.

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All of these tempting delights are by the talented Karen Henriksen, a milliner working in London who’s perfected the tightrope between modern and timeless.

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(All pictures Karen Henriksen and Pinterest)

Oh to have a few precious hours trying them all on and pouting in a fetchingly foxed antique mirror.  Such stuff dreams are made of.

 

Laters, Kate x

True Love x

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It’s the season of the couture shows when material transforms into an artist’s palette and cost becomes no object to imagination.

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Valentino showcased their collection last night at the sort of event us mere mortals can only drool at – it started with a magical treasure hunt tour of the places in Rome  where Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli found inspiration, from the Bibblioteca Casanatense, a public library lined with books with it’s deep aroma of learning to a marble bath from 1840 sited in a private palazzo, ending with a majestic open air catwalk show at dusk.

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Their muse was Rome, a monster of an idea, held together across time by the golden thread of fairytale…

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Because Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have that singular ability to take the concept of inspiration and find the person deep inside.

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Their designs represent the model of languid self-possession.

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(All pics from Style.com)

Always with that romantic touch of magic, intriguingly bathed in clouds.

I covet.

Laters, Kate x

Bags of room..

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Another summer 2015 obsession..finding a large, bright yellow shopping tote in soft, malleable leather..the type of bag you fill with all the detritus the sweet summer heralds..sun tan lotion, cotton scarves, umbrellas, sunnies, flip-flops..a picnic to feed the 5,000…a vat of gin..
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This one by is top of the picks so far..by Modalu, hand cut and stitched in Somerset by highly skilled artisans it justifies it’s over three hundred pound price tag..but….it’s hard leather..and I can’t justify the expense as I want to change it..but that deep blue interior..mwhahaa!

 

 

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The inspiration is Anya Hindmarch’s new 2015 sticker bag which is pure giggle and wink.

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 In homage, I’ve been collecting various patches (do you call them patches??) to make my own.

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I just need the bag in a sensible price bracket – why’s it so hard to find a very simple leather bag like this..but in yellow?..you wait..next year the shops will be full of the buggers..until then, the hunt continues..

 

Laters, Kate x

The Essex Taj Mahal x

 

Grayson Perry

Grayson Perry

When was the last time you were touched by someone so brilliant they made your head start sub-dividing?

A-House-for-Essex_FAT_Grayson-Perry_Jack-Hobhouse_dezeen_784_12

Stand back and welcome previous Turner Prize winner and national gem, Grayson Perry and his new project, a House for Essex: a collaboration with Charles Holland and the architecture studio FAT.  Built in Wrabness this huge marmite piece of art is a monumental shrine to a completely fictional character, a lady called Julie May Cope and is dedicated to the ‘Single mums of Dagenham, hairdressers in Colchester and the landscape and history of Essex’. The house holds testament to Perry’s visions of Julie’s life, through her birth in Canvey Island in 1953 to her two marriages, her children, her work all the way to her sudden death at the hands of a pizza delivery moped on Colchester High Street at the premature age of 61.

A-House-for-Essex_FAT_Grayson-Perry_Jack-Hobhouse_dezeen_784_5

On the outside there’s a shining copper roof and 1924 glazed terracotta sigils of St jules.

564ebcd2ecdaa01ea79e4d55437b14ff

Inside, the main room is in the style of a chapel to pay homage to the life of an ordinary woman.

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There are biographical tapestries and pictures over the ceilings with snap shots of her history.

A-House-for-Essex_FAT_Grayson-Perry_Jack-Hobhouse_dezeen_784_11

In pride of place and hanging as a chandelier is the very moped that killed her.

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Upstairs, the two bedrooms are dedicated to her two marriages..the second of which was a story of true, tender love which permeates through the whole building and draws it together.

951f59c2f72bae5061a02c574e15459b

Kitsch, ebullient and eccentric it may be, but the joy of Perry is that in his work, as in his life, he describes the truth as he sees it.  Underneath the undeniable humour, there’s a deeper, thicker message running through.   This is a celebration of a modesty of aspiration and acquisitions that uses high art to pay homage to the notion of hard work and normality.  It’s one mans couture shrine to the silver linings and special moments that bless every single life, no matter how hard or down trodden.  Which ties up nicely with why it was commissioned in the first place: It’s part of philosopher and critic Alain de bottom’s (great name hashtag-childish-sense-of-humour) Living Architecture programme to allow members of the public – that’s you and me – to stay in buildings by world class contemporary designers. Click here for more details for your own personal taste of Julie’s life.

Imagine…a weekend away…here??

Laters, Kate x

Game of Thrones x

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I think I have a genetic disorder that reacts to Valentino..every time I see the work of  Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri my heart starts pounding and I start reaching for my credit card..and mortgage statements..

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Their Valentino couture show was exquisite, drawing on references from across the board: Byzantine, monastical, peasant, ecclesiastical and more, then tying them all up together with a beautiful cohesive ribbon.

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This shirt for the summer with a pair of faded shorts..

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The achingly wonderful workmanship: It’s not avante garde, pushing the boundaries of wearability.  It’s time and craftsmanship with a quiet, deep down confidence.

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(All pictures Style.com)

This Collection adds one more cog to their star-making machinery..

Laters, Kate x