Friday 23 November 2012


I was recently asked to nominate an object that summed-up 'Best in Authentic Style' and immediately opted for my favourite vase, the Alvar Aalto Savoy vase. I grew up with this beautifully simple vase as my Swedish parents collected Alvar Aalto for iittala designs since the 1950's. This vase is known as the Aalto- or Savoy vase, as Aalto and his wife Aino Marsio originally designed it for an iittala competition and also used it for a commission to create furnishings for the Savoy restaurant in Helsinki in their native Finland in 1937. The clean undulating shape is apparently inspired by Sami (Lapp) women's breeches, but my parents always maintained it reflected the shape of the many lakes found all over Finland. I've always loved the purity of the design, which would be hard to better. It looks sleek and stark as an object in its own right, or takes on another guise filled with beautiful artifacts or simple flowers. 

The Aalto Savoy vase

We've bought, given away and sadly smashed a few over the years. I still have my parents' original transparent Aalto vase and also an opaque white version, that I found at a local auction house recently.  The Aalto vase is a great example of authentic style; it still looks totally modern and has perfectly stood the test of time. You can buy the vase in several sizes and colours at iittala or Skandium.

Thursday 22 November 2012


As a child in the 60's, I can remember being fascinated by my very glamorous mother getting ready for a big party. It was a day-long ritual that started as soon as Andre's of Locksbottom, the local hairdressing salon, opened on a Saturday morning.

I loved it when I was allowed to go with my mother to drop-off her hairpiece for a shampoo and set and always listened-in when she discussed the look she wanted. Her hairdresser would make huge gesticulating gestures around her shoulder-length hair, like a crazed windmill, to demonstrate the effect he was aiming for. It was the time of the big up-do - think Elizabeth Taylor, Tippi Hedren and Betty in Mad Men, and I was very used to seeing my mother's collection of hairpieces, in varying lengths, swaying on the washing line alongside all our clothes.

Tippi Hedren, with serious up-do, and Sean Connery in Hitchcock's Marni, 1964
Photo credit

Tuesday 20 November 2012


Welcome to the wonderful fantasy world of fashion photographer, Tim Walker; whose flamboyant and often dreamlike images grace the pages of British Vogue and other leading international publications. Currently on show at Somerset House in London until January 27th 2013, Walker's photographs are intricate productions; incorporating set- and model makers and a host of spectacular props. The photographer often depicts fairytales in his images and in his words turns, 'Daydreams into photographs.' Walker's fantasies are rooted for the most part in the magical and innocent world of childhood. 

Olga Shearer on a blue horse. Sennowe Park, Norfolk, 2007
© Tim Walker

Stella Tennant and pink powder cloud. Eglingham Hall, Northumberland, 2007© Tim Walker

It's a baroque world where Dresden shepherdesses come to life; princesses take wing in lilac clouds and the swan, symbol of grace, purity and love, sings its sad song at twilight
 Tim Walker


There's good news for vintage lovers!  The Old Flight House in Oxfordshire, where I have a unit, has expanded with two spacious new galleries, which are proving a welcome addition to the vintage and antiques emporium. Since the recent launch party celebrating the extended space, the centre now offers customers even more choice in terms of unique pieces for homes and gardens, as well as quirky gifts. Vintage fashion aficionados are also visiting regularly to check-out what's on offer and several units are specialising in beautiful vintage shop fittings and display pieces which look fabulous in a contemporary setting.

Images from the launch party for the new galleries at The Old Flight House including a 30's papier mache display head and two striking coats from Rebecca at Paton Place. Martin Miller's Gin co-sponsored the evening and ensured it went off with a bang!

Sunday 18 November 2012


Keep an eye out for Northern Women in Chanel - the exquisite and limited-edition tome that accompanies the eponymous travelling photographic exhibition. Shot by Stockholm-based photographer Peter Farago and styled by Ingela Klemetz-Farago, the creative duo behind the luxe Farago Publishing house, the images are a tribute to the ethereal beauty of leading Nordic and Baltic models such as supermodel Freja Beha Erichsen, who features on the book's cover (below). Throw in a fabulous wardrobe of current and vintage Chanel Couture and Ready-to-Wear and you have a haunting series of shots juxtaposing the starkness and traditions of Scandinavia with the opulence of Chanel.

The Classical Edition coffee table book is available as a limited and numbered edition of 2000 copies
through Farago Publishing and selected bookstores

Swedish model Dorothea Barth Jorgensen in embellished and feathered Chanel Couture