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.

Louis Vuitton x Natsko Seki

DSCN6195For 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.

Louis Vuitton Natsko Seki London Travel BookThe 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.


Swamped with Research

DSCN5916New projects, essays and assignments usually means that the cycle of research and background reading is about to begin anew. Here’s just a glimpse of what I’m currently reading.

Curating Subjects, Curating and the Educational Turn Books


My Latest Read

Royal RomancesForget about wasting your time reading 50 Shades of Grey, as the truly salacious stories of illicit romances can be found in my latest and most intriguing read to date entitled Royal Romances by Leslie Carroll.

If you’re as curious as me when it comes to living life as a European monarch, this book spans through seven scandalous and seductive centuries telling “titillating tales of passion and power in the palaces of Europe”. There are chapters on Charles VII, Henri II, Louis XIV, Louis XV, Catherine The Great (Catherine II), Marie Antoinette, Napoleon Bonaparte and many more. The word notorious just doesn’t do some of these monarchs justice. Intrigued yet? I literally haven’t been able to stop reading!

An Object of Beauty

Craving some salacious gossip? If yes, then this is definitely the book for you. Written by Hollywood’s darling funny man actor Steve Martin, it is a compelling story about the scandalous journey of a young, ambitious woman struggling to make a name for herself in a world of multimillion dollar art auctions, flirty liaisons, and shady dealings. An easy but very entertaining read that I simply couldn’t put down until I finished it. Unlike the book Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton, this fictitious novel reads more like a season of the popular television series Sex and The City. Glitz and drama indeed!

My Summer Read

My current summer read is the book Seven Days in The Art World by Sarah Thornton. I must say it’s proving to be quite intriguing as I haven’t been able to put it down for long. It’s a very easy read that gives an inside view into some of the most significant events on the social art calender including ‘the auction’, ‘the crit’, ‘the fair’, ‘the prize’, ‘the magazine’, ‘the studio visit’, and ‘the biennale’. With insightful interviews with top leading artists, curators, dealers, collectors and critics, this book should be at the top of everyone’s reading list. Truly entertaining!

Christian Lacroix Papier

The ever so fabulous French designer Christian Lacroix can now add a papier collection to his already impressive résumé. Known for his use of extravagant embellishments, and flamboyant combinations of images, color, and pattern, his beautiful notebooks are just that. The collection also includes sketchbooks, journals and correspondence cards, something that is an absolute treat to find in the mailbox!  Drowning in luxury and Lacroix!

The Splendors of Books

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Georges Barbier (French, 1882-1932)

J’adore, what more can I say! Fell in absolute love this afternoon when I discovered this book called Poiret written by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton.

These lovely illustrations were part of French fashion designer Paul Poiret’s (1879-1944) work whose contribution to twentieth-century fashion has been likened to Picasso’s contributions to art. What amazing lifestyles these images depict, count me in! Feathers, tiaras, and pearls never go out of style!

Georges Lepape (French, 1887-1971)

Ling Jian- Moon in Glass

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Emotion Angel, oil on canvas, diameter 190cm, 2010.

Another great day today, it involved a presentation by famous artist Ling Jian. He is a contemporary Chinese painter who lived and worked for many years in Vienna, Hamburg and Berlin. He is now based here in Beijing, China.

Detail from Emotion Angel

Hot off the press, I got the freshly printed book that accompanied the exhibition Moon in Glass, personally signed. Here’s me and the amazing artist Ling Jian.

Snacked on some delicious nibblies during the presentation, while sipping tea.