28 September 2008

friday nite's reversal of time.

[photo by phoebe blatton]
last weekend i went for a birthday at the rivoli ballroom in south london. if you haven't been i say let's go together! it is a treat you'll never forget. it was jive party nite which meant live jive and swing with everybody decked out in their finest vintage. i don't think i stopped smiling the entire time we were there, it's an absolute dream in there and i can' t wait to go back!!
the rivoli seems to be completely frozen in time, from the 'ladies boudoir' [toilets] to the super-cheap spirits to the straight-outta 1940s singer. The velveteen walls and chinese lanterns, disco balls and chandeliers all make you feel warm and cosy. there is even a lil' sandwich bar with booths for when you and yer partner need a rest and refresh.
i'm excited to go back again soon and arrive in time for the dance lesson. in high school a group of us were really into going swing dancing, but i've since lost all my steps. i even declined a dance because i was too nervous........the guy looked like a total professional and i was so intimidated!! but next time..........i'm out there ready or not! until then i dream of the innocent fun to be had at the rivoli......
[photo by phoebe blatton]
a little about the rivoli from their website: 'It started life as the Crofton Park Picture Palace in July 1913 and was converted into a ballroom in 1957, reopening in 1959 with a large sprung maple dance floor. it is currently in private hands. Famous for its original decor and interior fittings(red velvet, flock walllpaper, chandeliers, glitter balls and over-sized chinese lanterns) it is often used as a film location and plays host to many dance and musical events. Some of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing programs have also been filmed here.'

27 September 2008

one long arm.

[iris palmer and her suitcases, 1997]
today at the design museum i got a glimpse into the magical world of tim walker's photography at his pictures exhibition.
[devon cream, the haldon hills, devon, 2007]
the exhibition covers 1991-2008 and what i love most about it is the inclusion of handwritten texts, scrapbooks, polaroids and props in addition to the final results. that's what we like to see right? the things we don't see on the pages of vogue. i would love to be one of the characters in his photographs, immersed in nostalgic fantasy-worlds inspired by the likes of c.s. lewis, florence k. upton and lewis carroll.
[children in northumberland] [lily cole in earthquake damaged room, gujarat, india, 2005]
you get a great behind-the-scenes look at the conclusion of the exhibition with video footage from this 2008 shoot which stood alongside the original props and set and the photographs. it was incredible to see the process from beginning to end.
[above and below: karen elson, alex gilbert and dolly, london, 2008]
i left the show floating on a fairy-tale-cloud and wishing i had £70 (!) extra for the catalogue. my heart was also sent a-flutter by a clipping from one of the vitrines, a 'recipe for flirtation tartlet by the piddle heart throb'. i haven't been able to find anything about it online, but i did write the recipe down for future use ;-). so sweet!!
recipe for flirtation tartlet
first take: 1 double seat 1 small waist 1 long arm a little hesitation stir slowly then add: 1 gentle squeeze 1 head on shoulder 1 "may i?" 2 kisses allow to simmer gently for ten minutes proceed to add: 1 much tighter squeeze 6 kisses flavour with: "my sweet" and "darlings" mix well together and serve in the shade of chinese lanterns, as broad daylight spoils the effect note: care should be taken that no small bothers be added to the ingredients.
[it rained outside so we camped inside, devon, 2002]
[erin o'connor with mirrored swans, c. 2006]
all photographs by tim walker. i didn't take any photos of the installation [always a bit hesitant!] but you can see a bit of it here.

26 September 2008

heads or tails?

depending on how late i am running and which route i take, i often pass by the 'penny door' in city road as it is right around the corner from my office. it always stops me in my tracks. the main entrance to the building just beside welsey chapel brims with mystery and you can't help but wonder why the pennies on the door. then you wonder......what's behind those doors....? last week i finally caught a pic of me with the door to go with the photos i posted over on flickr a while back. i'm glad i've got this now, because when i googled 'penny door london' i learned that oliver house's days are numbered (!).
found in jj_willow's flickr stream: 'According to the planning report for Oliver House, the existing three storey building was constructed in the 1950s and has been in commercial/office use since then until it became vacant some five years ago. It is or has in the recent past been subject to squatters. It has approval to be demolished and replaced with a hotel / apartment complex. ' nooooooooooooooo is all i was thinkin'. and what is gonna become of those doors? it appears the decision was made in 2005 and now three years later, penny door lives on.
after a bit more searching it seems the pennies may have only been there since 2006. i think i am going to send an email to pennydoor and see what happens .......watch this space! all this talk of pennies makes me long for saturday mornings with pee wee's playhouse and footed pajamas. penny was always my fave.

18 September 2008

something old, something borrowed....

i've been saving an update about our special Viktor & Rolf event from saturday as it's now an update over at Dazed Digital and is even on their homepage today. i'm so excited to see it up!!
saturday was a day i'll cherish for a very long time and i even got a few minutes alone with V&R themselves, which made my day and then some.
you can read all about it over at dazed but what i didn't talk about is....what i was wearing....! i wore a few treasures from design archives, the clutch and clip-ons are old favourites and i haven't worn these corduroy trousers in quite a while.....so made some repairs to them and voila. will be wearin' these a lot these next few months i think. i also wanted to sport a ferry treat as i've met him because of Viktor & Rolf and i just adore these blouses [you may remember the other one in green]. and for a bit of height a recent ebay find.......vintage golden peep-toe pumps. i got rave reviews from V&R so that made me smile!!
but how you can keep wrinkles out of cotton blouses [these wrinkles are only two hours into the seven-hour festivities] and keep tucked blouses from pokin' through.....i'm still tryin' to figure out!!

currently bracin' myself for next week....the take-down of the show starts monday.

15 September 2008

no need to waste it.

there was a serious crisp in the air this evening on my walk home, a crisp i welcome with open arms along with cravings for hot apple cider and gingerbread men. i'm not quite ready to pull out the flannels and longjohns, but i'm ready to get a bit snuggly. not that i really got to explore my summer things.....i can only really remember a few weeks of bare skin this summer, but that will make the next summer even better right....? for now i look forward to socks and tights. and crunchy leaves and boyfriend shoes. i think i am a bit behind in just getting the september issue of nylon last week, but hey! it is an 'import' over here! flippin' thru the pages was super-nostalgic and i had so many flashbacks to my ol' t.v. flames. the spread that really got me jonesin' for that time machine again was dedicated to ms mary tyler moore. toss it my way - i'd love to find this lil' beret in every colour.
i remember being on the plane back to london, it's nearly a year now since i moved back here. and halfway through the flight my eyes welled up with tears as i realised for the first time that i was scared of what i was doing, moving across the ocean, alone. and i told myself that a year ahead i would look back and laugh seeing how far i'd come. as i fall for london a little bit more each day, i think that day will be full of smiles. for the first couple months [until the stress of my job kicked in i think!] i had many a 'mary-tyler-moore-moment' walking up to the barbican. i've never worn a beret though, so didn't toss it in the air.....but the song always popped in my head. and there was a skip in my step. walking home tonite after many months i had another m.t.m.-moment, only this time it was serenaded by jens lekman.

12 September 2008


the weather in london always gives you somethin’ to talk about right? ….or in the case of this week, to complain about (!). i think today is the first day i’ve carried an umbrella and not needed to use it….fingers-crossed. but dreary rainy weather is great for staying indoors snuggled up with a new library book or guilty-pleasure t.v., or venturing out to catch some gallery shows. whatever you choose to do, the end of the rain (or pause) brings with it the loveliest of greens and blues. enough beauty to almost make you forget you stepped in all the puddles you tried to dodge and have soggy shoes. yesterday on our lunchbreak there was a pause in the rain and maryam and i made our usual way to whitecross market. on the way back stopped to admire this beautiful rubik's cube wall, the colours were even more vibrant against the grey skies.
(photo by maryam)
i would love to have this pattern in muted colours as a chambray quilt......mmmhmmm.
i was wearing my topshop brogues which are officially ruined after too many puddles (may have to get these topshop metallic dreams to replace them for fall:)and my newest crush, these mary quant tights in 'nude spot' (the tights are covered with tiny baubles of thread) i found at my local charity shop. every time i go there they seem to have a new supply of mary quant hosiery and i always buy a couple things for myself or for surprise packages....let's hope no one else knows about the secret stash!
i'm so excited for this next couple days and week. we have a big grayson perry event next thursday that i'm working on and most exciting is our viktor & rolf symposium tomorrow. guess who's gonna be their personal escort........? watch this space.
if you're in london this weekend and you haven't seen the anya gallaccio/chantal akerman shows at camden arts centre.......go go go, they're ending on sunday! and allow a good 45 minutes to an hour for the akerman films, of course you could spend that long alone gazing at gallaccio's tree.
(anya gallaccio's unforgettable installation at camden arts centre,photo by damian griffiths)
happy friday.

08 September 2008

07 September 2008

denim dreamboats.

i really miss my weekly trips to the heaven-sent warehouse-sized thrift stores back home. i had a set route i would take around the stores.....first to denims, then shoes, bags, then housewares/bedding, coats, nite-clothes, then one more quick time round in case i missed anything........! since i've come to london the closest thing i have to a huge thrift is beyond retro in cheshire street. once i knock out the half-off section i head straight to the menswear to look for chambrays, westerns and workshirts. amidst the chaos that is beyond retro i have had some very emotional moments....when will my timemachine arrive?
(these lil' babies are from ragtime vintage in chapel hill, n.c., which i've heard has closed, so if you're ever in asheville be sure to visit their other shop for lots of tear-jerking treasures.)
if you know me you know i have a serious love-affair with denim, the older and more well-worn the deeper my love grows. i can often be seen sportin' hi-waist jeans with a denim blazer and then leavin' a denim bag behind only to compromise with a railroad-striped tote!! if you come back to my blog you're sure to see the affair come up again and again. recently my dresses have taken a backseat to my denims, and although i have apparantly always been a priss (given the name by my older brother long before i remember), i've grown fonder and fonder of priss with a menswear-inspired pop, inching my way towards the railroad jumpsuit.
so how happy was i to open a recent issue of milan-based THE/END. magazine. at the market where i go for lunch each day we are so lucky to have 'mag lady' who sells older and sometimes even current issues of magazines for as little as 75p.
as if the cover of issue #8 'erotica romance' isn't dreamy enough with this pleated dior homme shirt, inside there is a fashion shoot filled with throwback pieces by adam kimmel: denim and workwear is always a winning combination!
from the pages: 'there is a concept, and a very high one, behind what he does: it is the idea of man as artifex, or creator, someone who does things with his own hands. what really counts, still, is the clothes, and they're honest and straightforward as nothing you've seen around.'
what first drew me to these images is the faded, almost hand-coloured quality that takes you out to the country. then i noticed the workwear pieces. and when i visited the adam kimmel website i was so excited to see new york artists wearing his clothes: a lil' bit of country in the big city, exactly what inspires me every day when i get dressed. my love of workwear goes back to my earliest memories of my dad: today whenever i see a man in workwear i think of my dad returning from a weekend hunt in his carhartt jumpsuit. and my love-affair with old denims.....? ....that really blossomed when i worked at design archives, but that's a story for another time.
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