Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Marina Rust style icon

This page above has been in my scrap book for a while now, I thought for years that the woman in the picture holding a book was Marina Rust, then on closer inspection I realised in fact it is not, so I googled her, and lo what an embarrassment of sartorial riches I unearthed, all the images come from here I love her style, and from the page above, apart from the ubiquitous Breton T, I particularly love the pearl necklace.
This outfit is so me, I love it, and could probably shop it from my wardrobe.

I also love the way she wears big necklaces with quite pared down silhouette.

Midnight in Paris Trailer 2011 Dir Woody Allen

There is an amazing 10cc song One Night in Paris... a brilliant narrative about the perils of Paris after midnight, I have, I am so pleased to say had that one night, I ended up in a transvestite bar and danced till dawn to some very sleazy disco beats!! You have to do it once and thankfully I can report that I did just about manage to wake up in my hotel room, alone....just!!!

Monday, 28 March 2011


Children these days don't have Birthdays they have Birthweeks, I swear celebrations for Leyla's great day have lasted for much of the week. The build up began last year when ideas for parties were floated, eventually we decided on...? can't remember, because as with all things to do with The Leyla Monster rain stopped play, So party plans were cancelled due to a rolling programme of bad behaviour. I was thus racked with guilt, and so began the long road to 'make it up to Leyla time' on Friday, only I did not, because having suddenly been directed to collect her from school involving favours and a hasty exit from work, I was met by her class teacher who regaled me with tales of misery and woe. Leyla is the only one of my children who has failed to draw the line and leave at home her negative confrontational attitude. No, little Leyla wears hers all day like a badge of honour, and I guess the excitement of her birthday led to an attitude melt down. So my plans of beginning the birthday fest with afternoon tea at a local cafe were scuppered by my intense irritation and desire to bitch slap the teacher. She has 30 little buggers to deal with all week, I have 30 an hour, and I have less of a problem "Deal with it" I wanted to cry.

Come Saturday and I mellowed enough to take her for an early tea after Saturday school, we went to a lovely pan Asian place called The Banana Tree in Islington, the food was brilliant and more so since it only coast me £20. Recommended. We loafed around the rest of the evening and watched Coco Before Chanel ,which was as languid a film as you will ever see. I wanted to see it after seeing Marie Hartnett's* drawings here.

Sunday. The Day itself, saw a trip to Bluewater to spend a book token and swap her present from me, swimming goggles and flippers. Sadly the cheapo kids set were too small so I had to double my money and buy the adult stuff. Still she seemed happy enough. She then had a big box of sushi and with £20 burning a hole in her pocket we attempted to buy some glitzy sandals. Clark's that bastion of cobbling tradition had other ideas. As far as Clark's are concerned childhood screeches to a halt at size 2 and a half, after which you are pointed in the direction of a dark a sleazy corner where shoes that would make Humbert Humbert tingle with joy line the shelves. It seems at the lowly age of 10 Clark's deem you an adult, clearly then a company run by Humbert Humbert Jnr. She took it well after a brief rant. After the shop I took her for a swim to test out her new gear, she did two, count them two, lengths, that's £20 a length. JOY.

Back home having bought enough food for a family celebration they elected to take her out, she was thrilled and so I sat alone with my dip's'n'nibbles. She was delivered back to us on a celebratory high, saturated with chocolate cake. Finally persuaded to go to bed I went to tuck her in, I was told to "wait", I was tired so said "goodnight", and what did I get for my weekend of endless pleasure? I get called an "Idiot"

So ye shall sow, So ye shall reap.

*superb exhibition more details tomorrow

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Anselm Kiefer

This is an extract taken from an excellent interview with Kiefer in Saturday's Guardian
This last paragraph neatly encapsulates why I love his work and why I feel it is so important. Although the article does not reference Marcel Duchamp, I feel he would have connected with Kiefer, as much of his work was transitional including his large Glass which he allowed to decay after it's complete ion.
I somehow think that too much of today's art is precious and we should indeed celebrate the processes as much as the conclusion.

I was extraordinarily lucky enough to see some of Kiefer's best work some years back at the Hamberger Bahnhof in Berlin. where this photograph above was taken.

If you are around London this weekend go to see an amazing show of his at The White Cube gallery Hoxton Square, as opposed to the one at mason's Yard. It looks a really amazing show and I may succumb to a catalogue!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Monochrome Miffy scores 68

Apart from Monday a much improved effort


Yes, scrabble lovers, Wednesday was a red letter day, I had a quick game of Scrabble with Leyla over tea my first 2 letters out of the bag were a Z then a Q oh joy, I manged to off load the Z with ZIP then suddenly I got a U and there it was Quartz, the Q sat on a double letter score, QUARTZ sat on a double word and hey presto...68 points YEAH ..... A big fat L for Lose, Leyla, there is no greater satisfaction than whooping the arse of a 9 year old at scrabble is there?

I have been very busy helping Kitty with school work this week, her school career is nearly at an end so it is one last push to move some of her grades up, very time consuming to say the least though.

I had a whirlwind purge of my wardrobe on Sunday, sod the fact that the garden now has the contents of a sack of newspaper whirling round it, having spilt from the charity sacks filled with the paper I use to soak up the dogs nightly incontinence. The paper is now wrapped around the rusting bike plus the skeletal remains of last years flower pots. That all of this fails to disguise a large builders sack filled to the brim with top soil from the front garden that I have stuck my rusting washing clothes drier in, is neither here nor there, it will have to wait until Easter for a tidy up.

I have learnt one thing over the years and that is the quality of fabric is paramount to the success, I purged myself of all the cheap cotton skirts I had acquired from eBay over the years, I have given up on eBay, simply because you cannot feel the quality of the fabric and for every wonderful quirky bargain comes a whole bundle of crapola. So out they all went. Although I do not wear the linen of which I have a sack of I know that it will come into it's own if I ever get to Cyprus, trust me Yohji will not quite cut it out there, so while the Japanese influence reigns supreme on home soil, Margaret Howell will pick the baton up in Cyprus.

I have applied to Goldsmith to start an MA, I am at that stage in life where I need something to tide me over my twilight working years and as I have loved my time visiting galleries I decided that I should maybe do something structured to keep me going, watch this space!

And talking of watching, I will be GLUED to my TV watching the last two episodes of The Killing, so many twists and turns and red herrings, I can't wait.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Alena Zhandarova

I love this portfolio of images from Alena Zhandarova, they elevate self portraiture from the mundane into something quite quirky but no less relevant to the genre.

Images from here

Wednesday, 23 March 2011


I had resigned my self to not going to the city this time. but out of the blue Emin decide it was worth the considerable round trip, I think he fancied some nice food!, it was the best day of the holiday weather wise and plus I finally got to wander around this area. These are the original colonial buildings, they represent some of my favourite architecture. I love that despite everything they have kept the original colonial green of the paintwork on many of the restored buildings.

These houses are all clustered around one side of the city, very close to a school Leyla once attended, there is a fabulous restaurant called Hamur here which sells traditional Manti a kind of ravioli that Emin and Leyla love. My favourite is Borek, especially the sweet one made with a spiced curd cheese, it's delicious.
We met a fabulous Italian couple in there who had a house on the south side but preferred the traditional Turkish food. They felt it was closer to the traditional Sicilian food they loved, and despaired of the dull Greek food! They elaborated on there desire to partition Italy which was interesting and how embarrassing Berlusconi to have as their head of state!

I love this just sell one thing kind of shop.

A man can but dream!
All these shops and stall are around the cathedral cum Mosque it is still a wonderfully vibrant place despite the closing of the Grand Bazaar.

Backgammon is played everywhere.

Artichoke sellers above
and below, an image of huge market garden cum allotment, which in itself is not that special but what tickled me is just to the right of this photograph is the presidential palace, it's like the White House with allotments! Only here could you get this amazing juxtaposition of rich and poor. Plus check out those mountains they are spectacular.

Pronounced 'Lefgosha' it is the northern side of Nicosia. My first visit here over 10 years ago was to a very dilapidated city with little to offer other than a street market, a number of jewellery shops and some kebab houses. Now it is a vibrant city with offices for the EU even, amongst the burgeoning tourists destinations. T
he cathedral has been renovated and looks stunning, all the heritage is now being treated with a great deal more t.l.c than it once was and the most important change of all is the boarder crossing is open, you still need a passport to cross, but compared to the heavily guarded dividing wall, pock marked by bullets its a significant change.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Edith Maybin

I find these images both compelling and disturbing, I think the reason for this is that the relationship I have with my mother repels me and yet the relationship I have with my daughters especially Leyla I can relate to, this closeness of morphing into each other.
I realise it may sound superficial but I love the use of colour in the photographs and the fragmented composition, I love that not all is what it seems.

Text from here
Images from here

Monday, 21 March 2011

The view from here

So to town to meet Mother.

Sir John Soane Museum
Mmmmm, nothing a skip and a lick of white paint wouldn't sort out, seriously clutter doesn't even come close, and considering he was an architect there is precious little focus on letting us see the bones of what must be an achingly beautiful building. The location is pretty special too.

Kitty fleeced us both royally in Zara and H&M thank god we didn't get to Top Shop.

Dean Street Townhouse

I appreciate they did my sister a favour squeezing us in but even so sitting next to a door that was constantly banged open with increasing alacrity was irritating, the staff too all seemed to talk, much like my students do at school getting louder and louder and louder. Staff should be seen and not heard, sorry but at that price it's all about ME not them.
The table would have done Winston Churchill proud since you could have planned the invasion of Europe on it and had room to spare for a game of crib. I managed to semaphore most of my instructions to Leyla who sat opposite, but otherwise you are forced to raise your voice to compete with the staff or give up. Maybe they should just put telephones on the table! It reminded me of those heady days of Kensington Place which suffered similarly, but somehow carried it off with great charm.
The menu was esoteric but did tick Kitty's steak and chips box but poor poor Mother, I actually felt sorry for her, she always draws the short straw every time, she hates strong flavours so struggles as much as Kitty to determine what is edible and what is not. My sister said a friend had recommend the Mince and Potato, seriously would the name alone not ring alarm bells? And lo that is what she got, a plate of gruel, mince and a side dish of bland buttered potatoes . In prison it would incite a riot, here my mother with a heavy heart just sucked it up. quite literally. My salad was esoteric and a little too chilled, but I ordered it with chips, £4 chips which should have included a pocket sized leprechaun to feed them to me, instead they came in a metal flower pot, which is a ridiculous affectation, especially since it then steams the life out of them, plus they were frozen chips. Shame on you .

My sister and I watched the table opposite order an afternoon tea. the cakes would have done Katie Price proud such was their synthetic luminosity, Lucy did wonder after we had dissected the colour of the macaroon (which truly was the most hideous pink) within an inch of it's life that we were not just a little spoilt? No we are not, we just have high standards and when places like this say they are selling the dream then that is what we want.
The waiter fared no better constantly harried not once did anticipate anything without us asking, begging, pleading. I gave up and finished with a coffee. Kitty and Leyla did say the ice cream was lovely so that must have been bought in. No, I would not go back, it is a place beyond any form of redemption, they have not an ounce of humility, it is a triumph of hype over substance.

I bought a lovely scarf in COS though !!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Saul Leiter Courtesy of the Howard Greenberg Gallery

I must have seen this book so many times and not once did the penny drop, don't laugh but I thought it was a book about colour theory by Saul Leiter! Seriously how thick am I? In fact it is a monologue of images so beautiful it almost makes me want to jack it all in, I said almost, a curious arrogance lurks beneath my insouciance which makes me believe I too can reach the heady heights of visual perfection seen here.

Of course it's sold out now, but you never know....

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Takahiro Kaneyama

It is always difficult to know what to say in the face of personal loss, no matter what the statistics say each and every person is a personal loss to someone and as time creeps ever forward the whole notion that Japan is a country able to deal with a seemingly endless stream of trials thrown at by nature has been soundly disabused. Their Yang can no longer fight the Yin violence of nature.
One of Japan's most iconic images is The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai, it neatly encapsulates visually the battle Japan has with the sea, even the word Tsunami originates from the Japanese language. What Hokusai would have made of the ugly fall out of nuclear power we will never know, the menace is invisible and as deadly as the sea

Japan has always been high on my list of must see, and still is, but these images beautifully illustrate the pain of love and loss.

images are from here

Friday, 18 March 2011

Monochrome Miffy Must Try Harder

That camera is bloody brutal, what possessed me to wear leggings under the skirt on Tuesday? Seriously I look like I have got Elephantitis, not an attractive look. Emin bitched a bucket load about how short Monday's skirt was, sad to say I may have put on a few pounds causing it to ride up. There is a stain on Wednesdays dress, why did it have to be on the lightest stripe? And yesterday's outfit, which I thought oozed lux looks a tad frumpy. Leaving me with Friday...and to be honest I'm not convinced I have the right necklace on.
This somewhat shambolic array of errors is do to time, I am not leaving myself any time to make last minute changes in the morning
Memo to self must try harder.

I was roundly put in my place last night by a girl with a clip board, having wanted to smuggle Mater & Pater into the teachers private view of Ida Kar I was forced to retreat tail between my legs having decided I could not possible sit through someone in a lecture theatre droning on about the show, especially since I will be back in two weeks for... a teachers evening. My failure to sit through the talk meant I was unable to elicit the said free tickets and so Mater & Pater kindly rewarded my uselessness with a delicious meal out instead.
A big THANK YOU for that, despite us both being voracious blogger's we talked like there was no tomorrow, which of course there isn't as they will be hot footing over the channel to live as Parisians.

Bon Voyage.

Tomorrow I get to schlep around the Sir John Soane Musuem with Mother and Kitty, what a joyous combination that will be, Kitty loves nothing better than a bit of gilt & chintz!
I have planned a carrot in the guise of a nearby Zara & H&M for her, COS for Mother where she can fashion stalk me to her hearts content.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Cyprus the landscapes

This all seems such a long time ago now, Emin is counting the days until he returns (less than a month) I will have to wait until Christmas. Going at this time of year I noticed a lot of the villager foraging, clearly Fregan's before they even had a name for it. This was taken in the village, down the side of Emin's aunts house, which is in a lovely spot but now abandoned and slowly falling into disrepair. What makes it even sadder is I know there is some lovely furniture inside..

Honey from this region is the best tasting in the world, these very cobbled together hives are full to the brim, no wonder as the blossom trees are everywhere, everything planted in this place has to earn it's keep, so most of the trees are fruiting trees so had I stayed a couple of weeks longer the place would have been a sea of blossom.

I have shown you photographs like this before but I never tire of seeing how the villagers use everything including the oil cans, which are the only splash of colour around this time of year.

About half a kilometer or less from the house you reach this plateau, this is a very typical view looking over to the sea, which I did walk to one day, great going down, bloody agony coming back.

You can, if you peer very closely just make out the back of his house, on the left.

To the right of his house rolling hills of yellow were everywhere, I never knew in the early days that this country could be so green,

Another week has flown by, tonight the private view of Ida Kar @ NPG and an audience with Mater & Pater..yeah

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Chain Mail

I continuously covet chain mail necklaces, not really sure why, they are not pretty, in fact they look quite industrial. The price of these is prohibitive and I am toying with making one myself, I have sourced some fine silver strand and to me they look like french knitting you know those little dolls with the hoops on top? I will add it to my to do list!!
This necklace is by Fiona Paxton I found it via the link to Darkroom's website. This shop looks wonderful.

The following two necklaces come via the V&A who have a shop here

Tiziana Redavid

Sarah Cavender

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Yohji Disappointment

I have a bit of a confession to make, over the years I have always assumed that I love Yohji Yamamoto's work, it was because I see each season separate from the rest along side other giants from japan such as Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo amongst others. So in essence I have never really focused specifically on his oeuvre in isolation. For the post I went back 10 years, I wanted to go back to 1995 which was when he produced his exquisite kimono inspired gowns, later his focus was more on tailoring and now I see it as a whole narrative it is a very Gothic almost Victorian silhouette. Not overly flattering, you would have to be very tall to carry off much of these outfits, but up close and personal the tailoring is amazing and for this alone he is worthy of his reputation but now I can see the broader picture I can't say I am the fan I thought I was.
Truly, I searched long and hard to fill this post with images, they were all so gloomy and shroud like, with a Dickensian feel running through most of the last 10 years.

That said the details are stunning

apart from the buttons, seriously the buttons were all cheap plastic, how can you pay so much attention to the detail of cut and not think a little more creatively about the buttons?

So the exhibition.
Because it was coming on the back of the superb 30 year retrospective that has just finished at the Barbican I assumed it would further elaborate in detail his thought process. What I wanted was to see more of the clothes and the philosophy behind them.
I am a big fan of text married with the displays, I wear glasses, so constantly peering over them flitting between tiny printed matter and then looking up hurts my eyes, and I know I am not alone in that. I also expected to see the relationship between his clothes and the photography from his catalogues, since he has worked with some amazing photographers over the years and has really upped the ante where catalogues are concerned.
Instead I walk in behind some gormless idiot waving his press pass, he is feted with a press pack whilst I a paying visitor get a broad sheet with tiny writing and numbers which I have to match to the exhibits.
On entry your feet are made to stick to the floor, I thought someone had spilt Coca Cola, so tried to side step it, you have to walk past an attendant who neither smiles or greets you, or even bothers to explain why your feet are suddenly glued to the floor. Inside the room, just the one, you are greeted by a horrible industrial bank of scaffolding, to the right a dark corridor with tiny monitors looping his shows, to the left a retina burning bright light bounces off the shiny white plastic floor (now we know the tacky back was to keep the floor clean...it was failing miserably) the clothes are scattered across room with no explanation, the walls are bare.
Having been impressed by both their Versace retrospective and Vivienne Westwood's nothing quite prepares you for this disaster of curating. Presenting the clothes is itself an art form as both Liberty's and Selfridges windows illustrate to perfection. This was like the slap dash efforts more commonly seen at Harvey Nichols, low on budget, low on ideas and lacking any sensitivity to the paying public. It was an insult to my intelligence,
The quote above comes from the COS catalogue it is well worth a read and makes me very keen to try and get to Antwerp to see this MoMu for myself, someone at the V&A should read it.
I have since discovered the photographs are on show at The Wapping Project Bankside They should be with the clothes at the V&A