Wednesday, 21 March 2012

More vintage

On my recent trip to London,I was struck by the onslought of vintage.Maybe I'm wrong but it seems to me that this started with Laura Ashley and Biba in london in the late 60's; The last 10 years have seen the trend continue, for me in terms of furnishings, Cath Kidston in the UK and Pip studio in the Netherlands, are among the best. Cath Kidston( see image above) uses retro fabric on accesories, furnishings; the best are those done for the Queen's jubilee, with images of London in the 50's and 60's printed on fabric. Pip Studio does a lovely line in retro procelain, with the lovely motto, happy products for happy people.
Vintage covers for books have also started reappearing in re-editions of 1930's, 50's and 60's authors as diverse as Somerset Maugham, Mary Stewart, Dorothy L Sayers.The nicest editions are those of Mary Stewar (1950's author), each reappearing with a 1950's image for a fashion model in lovely matte colours. if you havent discovered Mary Stewart do take the opportunity to do so; her novels combine mystery with romance and lovely locations, such as Scotland, Greece and the Provence, in a literate style.
Lastly to complete my tour of vintage, nothing more so than the craze for cupcakes,covered in pastel glazes , which has been rendered hommage by fashion label Louis Vuitton in their latest spring campaign for their handbags (see  picture).

Friday, 16 March 2012


Dear fellow bloggers, internauts and readers,

Today is a national day of mourning in Belgium. You will all have seen the horrific images of the fatal bus accident in Switzerland this Wednesday, in which 22 children from 2 Belgian schools and 6 adults lost their lives. As a mother I am so saddened by the loss of children's lives, which we try to protect from the cruelty and hardness of life. You send your child away for a skiing holiday with its school and you never see it return; what pain for those left behind, fellow schoolchildren and families. I can only hope and pray that the children didn't know what happened. My thoughts go to those children that survived the accident, how will they cope. Let your feelings and thoughts go to them as they will need to be strong.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Vintage travel and Armchair travel

Have just returned from a few days in London, travelling on the Eurostar. Whilst my destination and the reason for going were wonderful, the means to get to my destination was disapointing, giving me food for reflection, on what has happened to the way we travel.
My grandparents in the 20's, took time to travel, and often the trip was as exciting then as the destination!If you look at the poster, travelling in 8 days from London to Baghdad as advertised, would send us into a tizz now as we no longer consider the trip worthwile, and want to get to our destination as soon and as cheaply as possible!However a two hour journey crammed into seats destined to give your legs as little room as possible, with no one talking to each other, because everyone is aware, that we are travelling like this as cheaply and efficiently as possible, leaves us very bad tempered indeed for the duration of our trip.
With that, we have effectively reduced our possibility of seeing, and encountering interesting people and, situations.Which is why I am turning into something of an armchair traveller, reading travelling books from earlier days. I would reccomend the french publishing house Robert Laffont(in the series bouquins) which publishes compendiums of travel writing through the ages in Italy,Greece, France itself, as well as from writers such as Paul Morand and Pierre Loti. The latter a french naval officer fell in love with Istanbul and the Orient and wrote some lovely descriptions of the Middle East. In English, Eland press does lovely reeditions of travel writings, from for example,Martha Gellhorn, Norman Lewis, well worth reading.