When planning my escape to Brighton I had hoped for sunshine and nice weather but instead I got chilly winds hmph…. However, I wouldn’t let a little bad weather get in the way of my big adventure so I carried on like a trooper and had a fabulous time.
For lunch I went full on British and indulged in some of “the best fish ‘n’ chips in Brighton” from the Palm Court restaurant on Brighton Pier before heading on towards the entertainment and rides offered a bit further down on the Pier.
I imagined Brighton to be a relatively small, picturesque beach front town but instead I experienced it as any other modern town filled with a mix of unique beautiful little shops and then the typical unattractive tourist shops and fast food chains. There was even a version of the London Eye!
Whilst on the Brighton Pier I got a total déjà vu of the first time that I visited Santa Monica Pier in California. Piers can be so much fun and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the view tends to be great.
Got my culture fill on with a beautiful performance of the classic Swan Lake performed by the English National Ballet at Royal Albert Hall. Although I’ve seen numerous performances of Swan Lake by other ballet companies I just can’t seem to get enough of Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music and the flouncy white tutus (I want one!).
Afterwards I feel as graceful as the ballet dancers who dominated the stage moments before and am on the brink of busting out a few moves myself, striking a few poses and letting my body move to the music.
For the avid travelers and London residents/enthusiasts here’s a sneak peak into the perfect book for you. Luxury brand Louis Vuitton has paired up with Japanese graphic designer and illustrator Natsko Seki in order to produce this fun take on a travel book. Using a combination of collage, hand drawn illustrations and images made using the latest computer and photographic tools/technique, Natsko Seki captures the urban adventures that London as a city has to offer mixed with a certain amount of affectionate nostalgia towards the picturesque places.
The book includes a diverse range of locations covering everything from tube stations to museums, iconic buildings, markets, shops, department stores, parks and restaurants. It definitely makes for an interesting read (if you can really call it that since the book doesn’t include text) where time is spent either reminiscing about the time and memories you yourself have of those places or you become curious to visit the places that you’ve yet to properly acquaint yourself with.
To witness a performance art piece is a bit of a peculiar experience. I’m sure it’s exactly what it must feel like to get caught in a flash mob event. Today I saw the staging of a lunch time performance piece which consisted of what might have been two of our security guards or actors/volunteers dressed as our building security guards having an audible dialogue about art, what is good and bad art, art teachers, and art education etc.
Standing within white outlined squares, the guards performed as students stopped to listen and watch in anticipation while others simply carried on unfazed with their usual lunch time activities. Even with the white squares around them, they blended into the busy atmosphere very well to the point where they went almost unnoticed. I must admit I found it quite entertaining and look forward to seeing more guerrilla performance art. Just as there are flash mobs with song and dance, there should be more flash performances involving art. Let’s head up the movement!
It’s always exciting to attend the many art and design fairs as well as museum and gallery exhibitions that happen here in London. Getting exposed to as much different art, names and practices as possible really helps piece together the vast art web and put it into perspective but it’s also a great source of inspiration. Sometimes there’s almost too much going on simultaneously making it difficult to find the time to attend.
Deciding to try something new, I made my way over to Pinta: The Modern & Contemporary Latin American Art Show at Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Usually art fairs tend to be quite hectic and busy but this one was unusually quiet. I expected to see a completely different and unique aesthetic to the previous mainly European and Asian art fairs and exhibitions that I’ve attended but I was sorely mistaken. I’m not sure if the galleries selected works that they expected would appeal to a British market or if it was simply an accurate representation of trending popular art in Latin America. I expected to see color, a bit of exoticism or something in the style of José Chávez Morado’s beautiful Carnaval en Huejotzingo (1939), or in the spirit of Frida Kahlo, Francisco Oller. Instead there was a lot of white and neutrals with small accents of color in sharp geometric forms. I have absolutely nothing against neutrals, in fact I usually prefer them but with almost an entire fair it got a bit monotonous. However, there were some gems among the masses which makes the search all worth while.
Today I’m indoors sketching for a new collection that I’ll continue to work on in Tokyo over the summer. I like to get a bit of a head start whenever I can and the ideas are flowing so I manage to get quite a few sketches out of it. The clothing line will be a perfect complement to the new additions in my jewelry line. I think I’ll even go so far as to create an original print for my designs as it feels so much more genuine and personal than picking up something from a popular fabric shop. For London, my go to store tends to be Cloth House on Berwick Street that stocks beautiful, wholesome linen and cotton fabrics. Overly synthetic materials make me cringe so they are definitely out of the question.
The weather is beautiful and it’s finally t-shirt and shorts weather again so I decide to head outdoors so that it’s not wasted. I take a walk through Kensington Park where much to my amusement they’ve installed a merry-go-round. I simply can’t resist reliving fond memories from my childhood so I hop on for a few rounds. My all time favorite ride at amusement parks and fair grounds was always the merry-go-round so I couldn’t be happier! It feels like I’m the female and more stylish version of Owen Wilson’s character in the Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris (2011) when he nostalgically and mysteriously finds himself going back to the 1920s every day at midnight. It’s absolutely charming!
After a dizzying few spins on the merry-go-round I make my way over to Wholefoods to stock up on some groceries for a dinner soirée that I’m planning. I simply can’t resist their delicious Chaumes cheese, kalmata olive spread and freshly baked bread. I’m hoping my guests will be equally taken.
At long last I have a morning that allows me to sleep in so I take full advantage and don’t rise until past noon. Since that throws any hopes of having a productive start to my day I head on over to Ottolenghi to have brunch and to catch up with a friend that I haven’t seen in forever. Their food always makes me feel ultra healthy up until the point where I misbehave and order a dessert. I decide to try their rhubarb tart and of course it’s delicious. Both of their cookbooks Plenty and Ottolenghi – The Cookbook decorate my personal library so I know very well what I’m in for. Oh dear, it would be so much easier if I didn’t like cakes, pastry, chocolate and cookies as much as I do.
Then on a full stomach it’s time to get working again. My latest project is a photography one so I bring along my camera (which is with me most of the time anyway) for a stroll around the Chelsea, Notting Hill area and end up taking in the busy sights of Portobello Road. It’s a party, the streets are lively with musicians rocking tunes, antiques exchanging hands, plants, kitschy London souvenir shops, smoothie and food vendors, animals and a ridiculous amount of baby strollers line the streets. Although I often dread overly busy streets, today it works to my advantage as people are exactly what I’m in search of.
I get exactly what I came for but for now I’ll have to wait to reveal the official images to you all. Soon though darlings I promise. On Pembridge Road, I, like everyone else stops to gawk at the jewelry in Hirst Antiques. It’s total eye candy as almost everything glitters and sparkles. Inside the boutique the display cases are stuffed with accessories which are organized by color. The diva inside me is convinced that I’d look absolutely amazing in everything I see but luckily my common sense hasn’t gone entirely out the window so for today I manage to resist turning into a showgirl.
I’m up at 7 am this morning so that the team and I can fit in a quick rehearsal before the spotlights come on and it’s presentation time. I’m confident and certainly no stranger to giving presentations in front of large audiences and often those that are much larger in comparison to what I will be standing before today. The presentation goes very well, both the audience and panel seem genuinely amused and are hopefully equally impressed.
The presentations conclude just before 1:00 pm. Upon exiting the theater, I notice that the sun has made a welcomed appearance. The streets are busier than usual as hermits venture outside their protective shells and embrace the bright, warm rays. What started as another gloomy weather-wise day has turned into a splendid one. I quickly remove my black stockings and two layers of clothing, discretion is my goal. As I make my way down a long winding path towards the tube, I find that I’m almost relieved to reach the darkness of the underground as the impromptu weather change meant that I had packed an umbrella instead of sunglasses, which is what I really needed.
In order to celebrate the end or possibly just the beginning of this particular project, I picked up a large celebratory almond croissant in order to properly indulge. After that me and a couple of friends headed out to grab burgers at Byrons. They make some of the best hamburgers and french fries, my go to order is their mature cheddar cheese burger served with lettuce, tomato, red onion (not too much, onegaishimasu) and a touch of mayonnaise. I highly recommend it if you’ve yet to try.
iPads can surely be a nuisance; hello, I’m here, be social and don’t ignore me kind of thing… Whatever, I slip mine out with the hope that no one in my immediate surrounding will notice (yes, right?) only to write a quick message to the 21_21 design sight, an ambitious project by Issey Miyake, to let them know that I’ll stop by when I’m heading home, whenever that will be as I have yet to make plans. As usual… The 21_21 design sight was designed by acclaimed architect Tadao Ando, who truly has some amazing projects, like the Teatro Armani, (but the list is endless) inspired by Japanese culture, zen and ma, space.