To those of you who aren’t that familiar with Colefax and Fowler, let me offer a brief introduction. It is a most charming interior design boutique conveniently located in one of my favorite neighborhoods – Mayfair. The interiors are elegant with a warm comfortable design that feels quintessentially English although one that has unfortunately become increasingly rare and difficult to find in 21st century English homes.
Within the beautiful boutique and among the many luxuries you can also find a small exhibition on James Wyatt ‘architect to the crown and designer of complete interiors’.
As a person that rarely shies away from extravagance and would dearly love to take up permanent residence in something by the likes of Château Vaux le Vicomte, Versailles or Waddesdon Manor, the James Wyatt sketch of the richly draped sofa/chaise lounge would be the perfect starting point. As I lay sprawled out on it I would have little problem finishing my long book list of lovely leisurely reads. I’d have Chopin music softly tinkering in the background and a warm cup of tea next to me. Ah, what a dream!
There was also a section especially dedicated to exhibition themed items for sale such as postcards, tea towels, books, etc, and needless to say I fell head over heels for the tea towel set in pink and green.
Earlier this evening I attended an inspiring talk at Central Saint Martins featuring American designer/entrepreneur Tory Burch in conversation with Imran Amed (Business of Fashion founder and editor-in-chief) which was streamed live onto the Business of Fashion website. Talks and conversations like this covering everything from a bit of background info to success stories and struggles, personal anecdotes, questions and advice are such a treat.
Tory Burch’s background includes an art history degree from the University of Pennsylvania where upon a week after graduation she headed to New York where she began her career in fashion by working at Zoran. Following her stint at Zoran she went on to work as a sitting assistant for Harper’s Bazaar magazine then advertising and PR at Ralph Lauren, then Vera Wang and later Loewe before heading up her own fashion label which began under the name of TRB by Tory Burch. Hearing about her personal journey into the fashion industry and building her label into a billion dollar brand certainly teaches one not to be afraid of dreaming big and having the ambition to make it happen. Yikes, it’s time to get to work!
Greetings from the gorgeous and grandiose Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, England! The stunning French chateau inspired mansion once owned in entirety by the Rothschild family could easily be described as a dream home and I for one wouldn’t mind moving in immediately. Granted, it’s no Versailles but in England I believe this is as close as one can possibly get.
I’ll be asking my darling grandmother for a refresher course in proper napkin folding so that one day perhaps my own dining table will look as triumphant as this. Luckily, I already have some of the tools necessary with a set of white table cloth napkins with my monogram. My dream of a palace is quickly becoming a reality.
The entire house was filled with lush and extravagant interiors, beautifully complimented with an infinite number of chandeliers in varying styles and sizes.
Although discretely tucked into the corner of one of the rooms, I have to admit to falling deeply in love with this adorable faint gold chair.
In the masculine bachelor’s wing there was an armoury corridor used to display an impressive collection of defensive treasures followed by a smoking room and a billiards room.
Even the view from the back garden proves that this is a gorgeous property. It also sits on top of a hill and has a terrific vantage point. Ah, what extreme envy I feel!
A beautiful cast iron aviary is located on the pleasure grounds in order to house a collection of exotic birds.
Back when I was living in Beijing, China and would frequent 798 Art District I saw an exhibition on Chinese artist Liu Xiaodong’s latest work at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. So, when I saw he was coming to London and the Lisson Gallery I simply couldn’t stay away and let my curiosity get the better of me.
The recently closed exhibition included a few large paintings of London pub scenes and family life, sketches, but mainly appeared to focus on a series of smaller photography works as seen below applying paint to the surface of photographs.
His paintings displayed at the Lisson Gallery had the same quick, broad brushstrokes that leave a few areas of the raw canvas exposed. Something of which I slightly disapprove of given my own background in fine art yet it works for his style.
Over the course of six weeks Liu Xiaodong documented his encounters with London and for his work focused on three local businesses, two pubs and a coffee shop. To me, it was an exhibition that became the meeting of two worlds.