Saturday, 31 July 2010

A night with Mrs Jones

I had a fantastic evening with my great friend Fee Doran aka Mrs Jones last night.  Whenever we get together there's always dressing up and a lot of laughing involved.  Here is a picture she took of me wearing my Christian Louboutin for Giles shoes.  She had me kneeling on a mini chaise in front of my bedroom window.  I was standing on it and one point and it made a loud creaking noise and I thought I would go straight through it.  Anything for a picture!

This is Fee's dog, Betty the miniature poodle, my new accessory for the evening.  Betty managed to escape twice.  Fee and I were flying up and down the street shouting "Bettttiieeeeeyyy" like a couple of fishwives.  Luckily Betty's not stupid so she came back both times.

I'm interviewing Fee later this week.  It will be up on the blog early next week as it will take me ages to go through all the amazing photo's of Fee and her work.

Friday, 30 July 2010

I LOVE this!!

I know I'm a little bit biased but I absolutely LOVE this ad for LOVE magazine!  Here's a sneak preview of the ad which has been done especially for the new British Vogue and GQ.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looks amazing!!  There will be eight covers for the September issue shot by the super talented Mert and Marcus.  I think it's one of the sexiest covers I've seen in a very long time!  Can't wait to see them all.

LOVE Issue 4
Photography by Mert Atlas and Marcus Piggott
Model - Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Styling by Sally Lyndley
Hair by Paul Hanlon
Make-up by Charlotte Tilbury
Dress by Dolce and Gabbana

John Galliano's fabulous fine jewellery

"It's been a long time since I left St. Martins but I still feel like a pirate that is plundering the globe for beauties, gold and gems of ideas.  A memory, a moment, a person is the greatest treasure... but a diamond is a very good second"

John Galliano
(b. 1960)

Readers of my blog will know that I love everything John does.  I think the new John Galliano fine jewellery is stunning.

Galliano's jewellery is produced in partnership with Damiani S.p.A.  Damiani is an expert in fashion and haute jewellery, working with international fashion houses such as Jil Sander, Martin Margiela and Gianfranco Ferré and brands Ferrari, Maserati and Ducati.

There are five pieces in the John Galliano fine jewellery collection; a ring, three pairs of earrings and a necklace.  Damiani's goldsmiths have combined various elements and use different shades of gold.  The fabulous stones used in the collection include white and black diamonds, red tourmaline, peridot, rhodochrosite, blue topaz, smoky quartz, onyx and Japanese pearls.  At the moment the collection is available exclusively from Galliano boutiques in Paris.

Pictures I love

Photography by Roxanne Lowit
Ungaro Couture, Paris, 2003

Versace Atelier, 2009

Freddie Mercury
Now this really is a look!

I used to work for EMI Records in the Eighties.  Queen were signed to them.  I was lucky enough to go to a few of Freddie's parties in his house in Holland Park.  That's totally another story which really deserves it's own blog post... 

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Seven quotes for a Thursday afternoon - Part thirty nine

"A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress"

Lord Byron

"Elegance does not consist of putting on a new dress"

Coco Chanel

"Never fit a dress to the body
but train the body to fit the dress"

Elsa Shiaparelli

"Where's the man who could ease a heart,
like a satin gown?"

Dorothy Parker

"Dresses, I find are impractical in social situations,
but I enjoy wearing them a great deal on stage"

Brian Molko
(b. 1972)

"If I want to wear a dress,
I'll wear a dress"

Dennis Rodman
(b. 1961)

"I finally learned to love myself by dressing up as Geri Halliwell"

Matt Lucas
(b. 1974)

Seven quotes for a Thursday afternoon is a weekly series to read party forty click here

Christian Dior skincare

I was delighted to be given these gorgeous Christian Dior to test.  Which I've been doing for the last six weeks.  I am obsessed with skincare products and have tried so many.  

The Capture R60/80 Nuit XP Overnight Recovery serum is wonderful.  It sinks into your skin immediately and any dryness is immediately gone.  It appears to relax any lines and makes it really soft.  I've been putting it on underneath this...

The Capture R60/80 Ultimate Wrinkle Correction Creme has a lovely rich texture, is supposed to stimulate collagen production and also has a mild exfoliating effect. 

I've been slapping it on and it's lasted for ages.  I have small lines above my eyebrows and they are noticeably softer than they were since using this.  I think the only thing that would get rid of them permanently would be botox which I'm trying to avoid.  There is definitely a difference.

The Capture Totale Soin Finition Lumiére is a product I will be buying again when this runs out.  As soon as you put it on it gives your skin a glowing luminosity and at my age this glow is much diminished.  You can wear it on it's own but I put it on under my tinted moisturiser or foundation and it really smooths and brightens my skin.  I'm going to use this from now on, replacing the Clarins Beauty Flash I used for years.

I've also been taking Julie Newmar's (the original Catwoman) advice.  Julie looks amazing and told me her mother taught her to train her face not to frown too much!  I am really trying not to raise my eyebrows so much but it's hard.

Read my interview with with the fabulous Julie HERE  She is an inspiration.

This works - Skin Doctor

I still get the occasional spot or pimple.  This stuff, attractively called Zit Zapper by Australian company Skin Doctor is the best thing I've ever tried.  I've woken up inexplicably with a spot before and this clears it up within a day.  At the slightest hint of anything on my face now I put this on before I go to bed by the morning it's gone.  It really does work overnight.

It's a blend of essential oils.  Whatever's in it, it works.

Breakfast in the garden

One of my window boxes

I had an accident with my new iPhone last night.  We were getting out of a cab and I managed to drop it under the car.  It was promptly run over by the taxi!!  It's totally knackered!  It still works but the screen is smashed to bits.  I can't believe I've managed to get my new phone RUN OVER!!  The last two met an untimely death, BOTH falling into a vodka and tonic, years apart too.  Unbelievable.

I took it into Carphone Warehouse and the chaps couldn't stop laughing when I showed it to them.  It has now been sent off to Apple.  Luckily I'm insured so will get a brand new one in a week or two.  I miss my iPhone SO much.  I was addicted to it within two days.  The Actor and I cheered ourselves up by staying up until 4am, chatting, drinking Jack Daniels and playing music.

I was woken at 10am by my gardener Tamsin who was at the front door.  Having a gardener might sound grand, but she only comes two or three times a year and sorts out all my messy shrubs, Japanese knotweed and tons of brambles that grow at a rate other plants don't seem to.  If you read my blog you'll know my gardening skills are fairly non existent, although I am getting into it.  It must be an age thing.  I've only very recently discovered what the lawn mower does.

Tamsin is fantastic and does lots of my friend's gardens; Giles Deacon, Stuart Vevers, Hazel Robinson are a few of her clients.  Today we decided I needed a bit of colour.  I wheeled The Actor out of bed to drive me up the road to the garden centre to get something for the window boxes and some more pots for the terrace.  The window boxes looked tragic. For the last few months they've contained the dead remnants of some winter pansies.  My old flatmate Sam came over last week and said *adopts dry tone and Geordie accent* "Oooh! the window boxes are looking nice!"

The Actor was feeling slightly worse for wear so I bribed him with the promise of a cooked breakfast, when we'd returned of course.  I only have a small cookery repertoire; risotto, spag bol, any Sunday roast, breakfast, sausages, mash and onion gravy, soup... does salad count?   There are a few more dishes I do, but it is pretty limited.

Here's the hangover breakfast I made him.  Apologies for the complete lack of plate appeal (I would have jazzed up the presentation a bit, but I only decided to blog it the second he was about to eat it).  He always has big portions so I couldn't exactly do anything minimal with it.  It looked so dull I plonked a couple tomatoes on it for colour.  He was desperate to tuck in but I wouldn't let him until I'd found the camera and taken a picture of it.

Hangover breakfast; 1 large mug of tea, 1 Bloody Mary, spicy scrambled eggs with chopped up fried things, toast and tomatoes

Spicy Scrambled Eggs (serves 2)
6 organic eggs
2 cloves crushed garlic
Good pinch of Maldon sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil

A generous amount of;
Black pepper
Celery salt
Red Tabasco
Green Tabasco
Worcestershire sauce
Chilli flakes
Cayenne pepper
Coriander seed

The rest
6 rashers unsmoked bacon
1 large red onion
1 box mushrooms
Cherry tomatoes
Red or green pepper (optional)

Fry the chopped onion, garlic, bacon and mushrooms in a little olive oil and butter.  Mix the eggs, milk and seasoning together in a bowl and microwave for a minute at a time, whisking every time you take them out until they are the consistency you like.  I've recently discovered that eggs come out much fluffier in the microwave than in a pan.

I think this is the first bit of cooking I've ever posted, although I'm not exactly sure I'd class this as cooking.  I'm no Delia, but it tastes great and the spices seem to work on a hangover.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Early Madonna

Stylist Maripol and Madonna.  I love this polaroid of her

Madonna, 1979

I'm sorting out my iPod at last and have started to download all my favourite songs.  It's a lovely sunny day and I've been jumping around the house and garden to early Madonna hits this morning.  Here are some of her lesser known pictures.  I was a huge fan of hers in the Eighties and Nineties.  I haven't bought a Madonna album for years.  The old ones are always the best...

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Where I actually go to the cinema

I don't really like going to the cinema.  I think the last time I went was to the Trainspotting premiere!!  Well, actually it wasn't quite that long but I hardly ever go.  The Actor has only got me there twice in the four years we've been together.  Once he bribed me into it as he couldn't believe we'd never been.  He took me to see There Will Be Blood.  I'm not good at films that make me jump and in the very first scene a guys head gets caved in!  I spent quite a lot of the film hiding behind his shoulder.  The other time was recently when we took my dad to see Alice in Wonderland.  I knew I had to go as it was 3D.  It had changed a lot since the last time I saw a 3D film...

Since the last time I went to the Everyman Screen on the Green in Islington it has been completely refurbished and I loved it!  It has wide velvet seats, cushions, footstools, sofas, tables AND table service, food and a bar.  They were mixing up strawberry mojito's and serving pitta bread with dips and fantastic snacks and chocolate.  It was fully booked for the 8.30pm screening on a Monday night, I think we got the last seats.  They must be doing great business in there.

The cinema was built in 1913.  It now holds 120 people very comfortably

The Actor booked a sofa with footstool right at the front.  I felt like I was at home.  I was most impressed.  And it was air conditioned.

They serve cocktails, great coffee.  And organic Belgian chocolate buttons... so Islington!

He reeled off a list of films showing but I wouldn't commit to any of them so he booked to see Inception.  We both said afterwards we wished we'd gone for Toy Story 3 instead!  Leonardo di Caprio was really good, in fact all the cast were good, but it's a boys movie and there were too many guns, bombs and special effects every two bloody seconds for my liking.  

Before the cinema he took me for dinner at a lovely little Japanese which a friend recommended just along the road.

It's very simple and serves fantastic food.  It wasn't at all expensive unlike some of the other Japanese restaurants we go to.  I always cringe when the bill comes as some of them are so overpriced.  £8 for sesame green beans?... £25 for sashimi?  I think not.

I love Miso soup.  It's £1.50 here.  Even cheaper than Yo Sushi and tons better

We had Miso soup, edamame beans, chicken gyoza dumplings which were delicious, the freshest sashimi I'd had in ages, beef teryaki, chicken katsu curry and a large bottle of saki.  It came to £45 which I thought was really great value.

This film IS right up my street... Gainsbourg comes out on 30th July and I can't wait to see it. The Screen on the Green is so fantastic, it has completely changed my opinion about going to the cinema.  The Actor is delighted about that so we are going again at the weekend and will book another sofa.

Serge and Jane.  LOVE.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Fashion rewind - Atelier Versace

Some of you will have seen these pictures before.  I love fashion illustrations and it's always interesting to see the original drawings and the finished gowns.  This beautiful show stopping collection from Atelier Versace from 2009 doesn't disappoint.  The work that goes into each piece is amazing.

And it's something beautiful to look at on a grey Monday afternoon.

Modeled by Georgina Stojilkovic. Donatella's favourite couture model.