Finding the perfect hat to suit your face, personality, and style can be a challenge but a task well worth undertaking. Trying on various styles in front of a mirror at an interesting hat/milliner boutique is a good way to start but it helps to know what style you might be interested in. Be it a fedora, panama, pill box, cap, fascinator, beenie, etc. Hats are such a neglected accessory in the modern wardrobe which is truly a pity as not only are they stylish, they’re practical too. During winter they keep your head warm and during summer they protect you from the sun. P.S. They can also cover up a bad hair day, just an added bonus.
In my own search I took style inspiration from 17th century French musketeers or rather the costumes of BBC One’s new program The Musketeers. Having fallen for the character Aramis (played by Santiago Cabrera) and his stylish hat, this became my starting point. As you can see through the pictures I think I managed to get quite close to the original hat worn by Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) with my new CA4LA hat (picked up on a recent trip to Tokyo).
Apart from the hat, another accessory that I wouldn’t mind having is Aramis (Santiago Cabrera) and D’Artagnan (Luke Pasqualino) on my arms. However, if that’s not possible then I’d be able to settle for the hat, one of their leather doublets and perhaps even a rapier to put my classical fencing skills to good use. En garde!
David Downton’s fashion illustrations are undeniably glamorous and remind me of another iconic fashion illustrator’s work, namely that of René Gruau. The two illustrators have numerous things in common and one of these are their work for several of the same big fashion magazines and famous designers. I’m such a fan of David Downton’s work to the point of having three stunning limited-edition fashion prints by him decorating my wall in Tokyo.
These are two of my three fashion prints and show Dior Couture A/W 2009 collections made under the reign of John Galliano whereas my third is an elegant Versace from 2008, all purchased in London. I can’t help but gloat that they make an absolutely stunning trio and especially after having been framed at a great expense with hand-made champagne wood frames in Tokyo. Another bonus is that they compliment my home milieu to perfection.
So when I saw the cover of Kensington & Chelsea Magazine while browsing the isles of WHSmith I couldn’t help but feel team spirit and subsequently went on to pick up my own edition of the magazine for entertainment. This way I can also coordinate my two homes and have a bit of Downton in my London home as well, a total win-win if you ask me.
The power of a good dessert is simply undeniable and at the moment I only wish it could cure my winter cold. I’m usually not an indecisive person but the indulgent dessert spread at Ottolenghi has a way of making me completely flustered at the daunting prospect of selecting just one dessert to satisfy my cravings. I’d love to try everything, well almost everything with the exception of any and all cheesecake creations.
This time around I opted for a rhubarb and raspberry meringue slice and as for next time I’m considering a slice of their luscious chocolate cake. Yum!
As the days are still short, dark and cold, I find myself increasingly relying on the comfortable light and warmth provided by candles. One of my favorite candle boutiques is Cire Trudon that lies tucked away on 36 Chiltern Street, a quite street in Marylebone, only a short walk from my second home the Wallace Collection.
The beautiful little boutique stocks a full range of iconic pillar candles with cameos, wax busts, perfumed candles and room sprays that are simply oh so decadent. One of my favorite perfumed candle scents would probably have to be Abd El Kader with top notes of spearmint, lemon, blackcurrant bud, apple, ginger, clover, a middle of jasmin and a base of vanilla.
The boutique also has a dedicated Fornasetti section.
Although it’s no secret that I enjoy frequenting the luxury lined streets of Tokyo’s Ginza district, the best part has to be when I stumble upon something new and slightly out of the ordinary that isn’t part of the big brand names that fill the advert sections of magazines. So, tucked away on Suzuran-Dori, one of the quieter streets of Ginza I found the charming French luxury tea emporium Mariage Frères.
The boutique’s walls are lined with a vast selection of exotic loose-leaf teas and everything else that you could possibly need to enjoy a good cuppa tea. I picked up a box of thé blanc au parfum de fleurs de cerisier (white tea with cherry blossom flavor) that smells like candy. Other amusing flavors that I’ll have to try at some point includes ‘sexy tea’ a ‘floral black tea, with seductive notes of red berries’ and ‘black opera’ a ‘velvety black tea with rich notes of fruit and vanilla’.
One of the key elements to a good exhibition is sensitivity to space. When the right art meets the right space it can make for a fabulous show and this is exactly what happened with Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo when presenting their 8th exhibition so far entitled Infinite Renew by Mariko Mori.
Espace Louis Vuitton is a modern exhibition space with tall floor to ceiling windows with a view out over the fashionable street of Omotesando and surrounding areas. However, the space transformed into a carte-blanche in order to accommodate Japanese artist Mariko Mori’s high-tech sculptures built out of fiber glass, mirrors, LED, and a real-time control system that allows the LED lights to change colors depending on visitor’s moment. The result was a wonderfully unique exhibition that looked like something out of a science fiction film with its white on white sterility and only a hint of soft glowing color in the Infinite Energy triptych spirals.