Hartwell House Hotel

DSCN8593Ever since relocating to London I’ve expressed my desire to see more of the British landscape by getting out of the city in order to discover new places. Well, it turns out my wish was granted because I recently enjoyed an exciting trip into the countryside to explore the some of Britain’s great country homes compliments of my CSM degree.

Hartwell House Hotel GardenThe crisp country air and landscape were a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of London although, I’m not quite sure how well I would cope in the long run.

Hartwell House Hotel

DSCN8656With relatively modest interiors apart from the heavily ornamented staircase, the country house hotel made you feel at ease and cozy compared to other grandiose interiors which were typical of the period.

Hartwell House Hotel Interiors

DSCN8619Along with the house and gardens there was also this beautiful church.

Book Spotlight

Coco Chanel The Legend and The LifeSearching for your next titillating read? Then, look no further because I’ve got just the book for you, Coco Chanel The Legend and The Life by Justine Picardie.

For those of you who find the idea of reading a biography a quick trip to snoreville are seriously mistaken when it comes to this book as it managed to grab my attention immediately and I’m not even a Chanel fanatic. Although I’d seen all of the Chanel films before reading the book, little did I understand the full extent of Mademoiselle Chanel’s scandalous and slightly tragic life.

DSCN8270Chapters include Mademoiselle Is At Home, Gabrielle, In the Shadow of the Cross, Coco, Courtesans and Camellias, The Double C, The Little Black Dress, Misia and the Muse, Number Five, The Russians, The Duke of Westminister, Riviera Chic, The Woman in White, The Promised Land, Diamonds as Big as the Ritz, Through a Glass Darkly, The Comeback, Celebrity Chanel, Scissors, and La Grande Mademoiselle. But, little do the titles reveal the dark, often desperate measures that Chanel resorted to in order to guarantee her social climb and success.

Coco Chanel The Legend and The LifeInterviews with Chanel reveal to the reader the disillusion and myth that Chanel worked tirelessly to create around her own life and fashion brand. The book thoroughly covers everything from her childhood, to her climb towards success through the financial backing of a string of aristocratic lovers, business, style and more.

It is an easy read that absolutely entranced me and left me a little shell shocked by the end. What a life! Just reading about all of the drama left me utterly exhausted so imagine what it must have been like to live it as Mademoiselle did.

The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon

The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon Exhibition Fashion and Textiles MuseumNow that I’m back in London, I stopped by the newly opened, stunning couture exhibition The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon at the Fashion and Textiles Museum just south of the river Thames.

The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon Exhibition Fashion and Textiles Museum

The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon Exhibition Fashion and Textiles MuseumThe exhibition, good enough to rival any fashion exhibitions held at the Victoria and Albert Museum featured numerous elaborate evening gowns with beautifully executed hand embroidery, extensive sequins and beading, draping and other techniques specific to the art of couture. It was also a beautifully curated show with smart use of printed card to create dazzling chandeliers and wall stucco decorations. A smart tip that I’ll have to remember when building my own palace in the future!

The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon Exhibition Fashion and Textiles Museum

The Glamour of Bellville SassoonThe couture house which was founded in 1953 quickly became well known for its youthful, pretty collections that oozed glamour and projected the image of sophisticated dress. Granted, some outfits looked a little more dated than others while several remained just as fashionable over time.

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The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon Exhibition Fashion and Textiles MuseumNow, the Fashion and Textile Museum might not be anywhere close to large as the Victoria and Albert Museum in size but it puts on terrific exhibitions that are well worth a visit. It can also be combined with a visit to the Design Museum before or afterwords as the two Museums are not far apart. Enjoy!

The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon

The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon Exhibition Fashion and Textiles Museum