Saturday 6 August 2011

    please let me duck away


    Sometimes you just want to float away and duck all responsibilities!

    This wasn’t my favourite week but there were some beautiful moments…

    {Image la la lovely via pinterest}

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    Saturday 6 August 2011



    This painting is posted in homour of my mum. During a quiet moment at a family funeral this week, I remembered all the things I love about her and the importance of kin. I miss her often.

    Chrysanthemums :: Cheerfulness, optimism, rest, truth, long life, joy.

    Horace G. Hewes, Chrysanthemums  1880, oil on wood panel

    Chrysanthemum are considered to be a noble flower in Asian culture, with a history that dates back to 15th century B.C. Chrysanthemum mythology is filled with a multitude of stories and symbolism.  The chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Symbolic of powerful Yang energy, this flower is an attractant of good luck in the home. Named from the Greek prefix “chrys“ meaning golden (its original color) and “anthemion,” meaning flower.

    Daisy-like with a typically yellow center and a decorative pompon, chrysanthemums symbolize optimism and joy. They’re the November birth flower, the 13th wedding anniversary flower.  A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection, and Confucius once suggested they be used as an object of meditation.  It’s said that a single petal of this celebrated flower placed at the bottom of a wine glass will encourage a long and healthy life.

    Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb. Tao Yanming was the first historical breeder in 400 A.D. After his death, his native city was named ~Juxian~ meaning ~City of Chrysanthemums. It is believed that the flower may have been brought to Japan in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal and sat on the Chrysanthemum throne.  There is a “Festival of Happiness” in Japan that celebrates the flower. The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century.

    {Image Horace G. Hewes via Debutantes Ball}

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    Wednesday 3 August 2011

    for a good cause


    In an interview with Margaret Olley she talked about the joy of giving.

    ‘I just don’t understand why it isn’t contagious!’ she said!

    And so I am posting the upcoming event to support the charity I work for that supports people with high need disabilities. I’d love you to buy a ticket and enjoy a lunch with lively discourse!

    And a big thank you to Anna at Absolutely Beautiful Things for posting this event and encouraging people to support it! x

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    Tuesday 2 August 2011

    sunshine in a dud day


    Some days just don’t behave! Today was one of those, and just when I’d had enough of life’s adventures

    ~ gashed knee after tripping and flying spectacularly through the air;

    pear shaped event pressure; and a funeral tomorrow…

    I saw this apt image on Absolutely Beautiful Things this afternoon when I dropped by Black & Spiro.

    My dud day got better when I visited Anna with my collection of Monte Lupo artworks.

    Anna is enamoured with the work of a Monte Lupo artist and the timing of my visit was perfect.

    Thank you Anna for putting some yellow in my day!

    {Image Dare Yourself Absolutely Beautiful Things via coco & kelley}

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    Monday 1 August 2011

    Absolutely Beautiful Things ~ bravo Anna!


    Anna Spiro’s online store opens beautifully!

    Now you can virtually pop into her online store to pick up some unusual treasures…

    As a fellow Brisbanite, I’ve enjoy the indulgent pleasure of  visiting Anna’s interior design store

    Black and Spiro lured by the eye-candy window displays

    and inspired by her Absolutely Beautiful Things blog.

    About the launch, she writes, “First and foremost I am a designer and I really wanted that to be reflected in our online store. I wanted to create something which was different and exciting. . . .  In an attempt to make this succeed I thought it would be wonderful to present a series of seasonal vignettes, which will showcase special things I have either found or had custom made…. I really want to showcase items in our store which are very special, unique and of high quality and once sold out it is our intention not to repeat items.”

    The way in which we are going to present the store is the most exciting part. Each season {Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn and maybe a few other special dates in between like Christmas and Easter} we will upload a beautiful image of our selected goods for that season which I have put together in a room scene/vignette. 

    The store is laid out as a “vignette” where each item is numbered, and you can click the product numbers for more details and purchasing info. Anna’s first vignette is the Winter look, comprising a mixture of one-off vintage/collectable items, custom made items and other limited edition pieces.

    And  I’m dreaming of a wild shopping spree…

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    Sunday 31 July 2011

    Mozart’s Sister :: Nannerl, la soeur de Mozart


    The Family Mozart. Nannerl sings, Wolferl plays, Papa dominates.

    I was fully immersed this lavish costume drama with elaborate sets and luscious music about

    accomplished singer, harpsichordist and violinist Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart

    is Wolfgang’s elder by five years and a musical prodigy in her own right

    who also composes some wonderful music.

    Mozart’s Sister

    French writer-director Rene Feret’s film about the sister of the great composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    is grandly set in 18th-century pre-revolutionary France.

    Written, directed and produced by René Féret, “Mozart’s Sister” is a re-imagined account of the early life of Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart (played by Marie Féret, the director’s daughter), five years older than Wolfgang (David Moreau) and a musical prodigy in her own right. Originally the featured performer, Nannerl has given way to Wolfgang as the main attraction, as their strict but loving father Leopold (Marc Barbe) tours his talented offspring in front of the royal courts of pre-French revolution Europe. Approaching marriageable age and now forbidden to play the violin or compose, Nannerl chafes at the limitations imposed on her, until a friendship with the son and daughter of King Louis XV offers an alternative.

    Nannerl strikes a friendship with Princesse Louise de France (played by Marie Feret’s sibling, Lisa), who is one of the many illegitimate children of Louis XV. Louise with her sibling sisters have been banished to Fontevraud Abbey 250 km from Paris, while the sons, in contrast, remain at court. The two girls’ fates mirror each other as events shaped by the male-dominated world in which they live subvert their dreams. At Versailles, Nannerl comes into contact with the Dauphin of France (Clovis Fouin), the future Louix XVI, and a rather charming romance develops. However, the tone gradually darkens as the Dauphin becomes insanely intense.

    We are transported by stagecoach through a winter wonderland,

    to the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles and the more austere Abbey.

    For 40 years, René Féret has been France’s most autonomous filmmaker, serving as his own writer, producer and even distributor. For Feret, Nannerl, Mozart’s Sister is clearly a labour of love, drawing on the talents of his daughters and those of his wife, Fabienne, as producer and editor, and their son, Julien, as his first assistant and in a small onscreen role. Feret was permitted to film at Versailles. Mozart’s Sister is beautifully shot with grand costumes and locations.

    The music is a classical feast for viewers and central to the story. It is a wonderful companion to the film; from practice sessions, to salon performances including pure Mozart and fanciful pieces (by Marie-Jeanne Serero) portrayed as compositions by Nannerl, which she undoubtedly would have written but sadly did not survive her. Heather Cameron.

    I thought this review by Philippa Hawker beautifully captured the film.

    French director Rene Feret imagines, in an intriguing, deftly integrated mixture of biography and fantasy, realism and fairytale, what the world of this adolescent girl might have been like. Her name was Maria Anna and she was known within the family as Nannerl; she was five years older than her brother, musically gifted and part of the Mozart travelling show that went around Europe, astounding crowned heads, courtiers and fellow musicians. She was a virtuoso on the harpsichord and accompanied her brother; there is evidence, in his correspondence, that she composed music but sadly none of it survives.

    When Mozart’s Sister begins, the father, Leopold (Marc Barbe) is taking the family – his compliant wife (Delphine Chuillot), 14-year-old Nannerl (played by Feret’s daughter Marie) and nine-year-old Wolfgang (David Moreau) – to perform at the French court. The coach in which they are travelling is damaged and they seek shelter in a nearby abbey. They discover that several of Louis XV’s younger daughters have been dispatched there, to live a cloistered existence far away from palace life and without any contact with their parents.

    Nannerl strikes up a friendship with Louise (played by Lisa Feret, another of the director’s children), a year her junior – isolated, precocious, yearning for companionship. To her, the Mozart family seem almost ideal and she’s smitten with Nannerl, while what Feret shows us is a sense of warmth mixed with deprivation.

    Leopold is focused on his son, on presenting Wolfgang to best advantage and highlighting his musical gifts and compositions. It is not a harsh portrait of the father, although it is clear his ambitions and restrictions tightly constrain Nannerl’s life. Women are not equipped to compose, Leopold says, and they should not play the violin – and Nannerl wants to do both. We also see the combination of intensity and playfulness with which the children embrace the musical life that is all they know – they might be drilled to perform for their supper but there’s a lovely, fleeting night-time scene in which they exuberantly sing harmonies together, then rush to the keyboard to work out the composition.

    At Versailles, Nannerl comes into contact with the Dauphin (Clovis Fouin), the future Louix XVI, a seemingly remote and quietly tormented figure who is scandalised by his father’s sexual exploits. This is a more fanciful element of the story and it explores desire and repression in different terms;

    Nannerl is required to disguise herself as a boy to speak to the Dauphin, a pretence that gives her a taste of freedom, a partial sense of a world not normally open to her. It also gives her, briefly, a licence for musical exploration.

    I am now interested to know more about Nannerl and am interested to read In Mozart’s Shadow: His Sister’s Story by Carolyn Meyer

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    Saturday 30 July 2011

    faded luxury


    My childhood Queen dreams continue ~ this is my abode…

    I smell rose and musk, orange blossom and exotic spice,

    I hear rhythmic music slowly pulsating in the riad and

    I take relax in the decadent salon where it’s peaceful, cool and dark.

    Dar Darma in Marrakech discovered on Desire to Inspire via Welcome Beyond.

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    Saturday 30 July 2011

    little lovely


    What a magnificent crown! Remembering the playfulness and dress-ups of  childhood.

    “Play is the beginning of knowledge.”

    {Image milk mag via one of my favourite blogs, la la lovely things}

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    Friday 29 July 2011

    Missoni + Target = lots of stripes, zigzags & near-hallucinogenic florals


    Maybe I can now afford a Missoni bikini! Italian high end knitwear brand Missoni, will debut a line for Target this fall as a a part of the Go International Series.

    Missoni for Target

    will feature over 400 pieces using the iconic multi-color stripes of the knitwear brand including clothing for women, kids, and men, bedding, iPad covers, bicycles and  enough dinnerware to set the table forcolazione, pranzo, and cena. The line, branded with Missoni’s trademark swirls, zigzags, and loud printed florals, will be available from September 13 to October 22 at US Target stores and online at

    Margherita Missoni is wearing a Missoni for Target Sweater ($45) and Skirt ($40). Dior Necklace. Christian Louboutin Heels.

    “Quality has always been one of the key aspects of Missoni, along with knitwear, pattern, and color,” Margherita Missoni explains. “It’s this artisanal quality that was so important to my grandparents.” 

    After several trips to Milan for the Target team to trawl through the Missoni archives, and Margherita and her mother, Angela, braving a snowstorm in Minneapolis for the final fittings, they couldn’t be happier with the results.

    Missoni for Target Ceramic Rectangular Tray ($20) and Octagonal Tray ($25).

    Missoni for Target Canisters ($20 each).

    Brand ambassador Margherita Missoni stars in both the editorial and television campaign,

    paying homage to mod style in a zigzag mini dress and teased ponytail with matching luggage.

    It’s been a busy time for Missoni :: The Italian fashion house just debuted their line of summer footwear for Havaianas, and collaborations with two more brands: Target and Bugaboo. The Italian company will release a collaboration of sun canopies and bassinet aprons with Bugaboo, priced from $199 to $269, at Neiman Marcusin. “Working with Bugaboo has given me a unique opportunity to create a dream stroller that I hope will be enjoyed by children and will stimulate their senses,” said designer Angela Missoni. via InStyle

    Visit Target for more. {Prices are in US$}

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    Friday 29 July 2011

    AdR ~ Anna Dello Russo


    Who is Anna Dello Russo? She is a self-described “passionate fashionista” and Vogue Nippon editor with a very trendy blog… With her outrageous dress sense, Anna Dello Russo – influential blogger, editor, street-style icon – is putting the fun back into dressing up!

    “I have two apartments: one for clothes” Anna Dello Russo.

    “I collect also books, photos, shoes…. Kitchen dismantled to make the walk-in closet “

    She has her own hugely popular blog AdR where she chronicles her unique daily looks.

    AdR features images wrapped in quirky yellow sunflower / banana frames in which she places her super-brilliant head on catwalk looks she likes or coveted couture.

    Anna Dello Russo is a significant but definitely behind-the-scenes player in the game of international fashion for almost two decades, she began gaining a public profile in 2006, via the medium of the’s Scott Schulman. Schulman made a regular feature of Dello Russo and her extravagant style. Dello Russo (catchphrase: “I don’t want to be cool. I want to be fashion”) makes a point of faithfully recreating designer looks precisely as they are shown on the international fashion-week catwalks. She likes gold brocade-trimmed military coats with absurdly flouncy skirts and matching gold wedges; feathery Jason Wu cocktail dresses, pink cat’s-eye sunglasses and glittering explosions of Balenciaga ballgowns. As daywear. 

    Once described by Helmut Newton as a “fashion maniac”, Anna Dello Russo is currently the Editor At Large and creative consultant for Vogue Japan. After spending 18 years at Condé Nast Italia – starting as a fashion editor at Vogue Italia - Dello Russo went on to become editor ofL’Uomo Vogue from 2000-2006 before assuming her current role for Vogue Japan. She has a bachelor’s degree in Italian Literature and Art History and attended the Domus Academy in Milan. Anna was born in Bari in Southern Italy, and now lives in Milan with her dog Cucciolina.

    Anna Dello Russo Style

    Based in Milan, Dello Russo has two apartments – one for herself and another for her clothes. “I collect a clothes,” she told Glamour. “I’m like a buyer… at the start of every season, I have a wish-list. Who cares if I don’t get a chance to wear it all? I just love owning it.”

    “My mother used to say I looked like a Christmas tree; I would wear everything at the same time. I still do. I’m a maximalist.” And when UK Glamour asked her what she wears to the supermarket, she responded, “Supermarket? I don’t go to the supermarket! I’d rather buy clothes. Clothes are my religion.”

    During fashion show season, Vogue Japan‘s editor-at-large often attracts as much – and sometimes more – attention than the clothes on the catwalks. She’s a favourite on street style blogs like The Sartorialist and Garance Doré and has legions of fashion fans across the globe.

    Anna Dello Russo on how to be… How do you define good style?

    Don’t be literal! Add a twist to your look. Personally, I like to make an impact in the room, but you have to decide whether to wear a dress that gets people talking or a dress that just looks good on you.

    Some travel tid bits from Anna Dello Russo’s blog

    Anna does NOT travel with a cute family of monogrammed Louis Vuitton trunks but is rather an advocate for light packing. 

    ‘The suitcase must be LIGHT as a feather! It’s forbidden to pay OVERWEIGHT!‘ 

    How does she do that? The owner of  more than 4,000 pairs of shoes claims to only pack one pair,

    ‘Is allowed to bring only ONE high heels: Choose it well!’ 

    Anna may only take one, uno pair of high heels in her light as a feather bag but when it comes to reading it seems paying for overweight is not only allowed but required. Anna says,

    ‘Take an extra luggage just for the BOOKS on paper.’ 

    And finally,  while I dream of travelling with LV luggage, I concur with Grazia Daily,

    And then Anna starts saying something about ‘flirting with the mood of the country’ but to be honest, we just could not muster the courage to keep reading. What next? Leave the giant gold cherries behind? And what exactly would we be seen wearing while sipping cocktails by the pool, Anna? *shakes head in disbelief, cancels holiday* 

    To celebrate their 10 year anniversary, the clothing website

    printed 10 different shirts for sale, each with one of Dello Russo’s top ten outfits.

    The shirts went on to sell out within the first day they were made available.

    Anna loves to define herself as POP, as in “popular”, famous and accessible to anyone who loves fashion as much as she does. Her dazzling looks and her style choices have been immortalized by photographers from around the world, and from there her following of fans have invaded their blogs with pro-Anna Style messages.  And it’s thanks to one of her fans that the idea came to be: a kit of T-shirts printed with the best looks worn by Anna on the occasion of runway shows, parties and social events that Anna has decided to “gift” to for its 10th Anniversary.

    @ Paris Vogue’s 90th anniversary masquerade party, Hôtel Pozzo Di Borgo.

    Well I think that’s enough Anna for one post!

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