Contrary to popular opinion, some of us are still very much in favour of wearing a watch. Not always for telling the time, mind. In fact, these days a watch can almost be the opposite of a passing-of-time marker, instead serving as a symbol of slowing down and savouring the day. (more…)
For the third in my Petit Déjeuner film series, we’re celebrating the reawakening of the London Dior flagship store. Petit Déjeuner is all about new beginnings and reinvention, and after four years of renovation, we’re finally seeing the reawakening of this sleeping beauty.
What’s the role of a flagship store these days? The flagship (or ‘Maison’ as many like to call theirs) is more important than ever, in the era of bricks vs clicks. If the phone, app, website or e-commerce portal is the convenience store, then the Maison is the beautiful, leisurely experience that to me, is real luxury. As Dior’s Sidney Toledano says, “The real deal is time. The young generation, whether they are 15, 18, 20, they want everything fast. But maturity is giving meaning to time. Time is dreaming. We give the ability to the people to have a moment of dreaming.”
So enter the vast, four-level listed building (actually two buildings now co-joined) and you’re in a grand cathedral to all things chic and beautiful. From the jasmine-trellised conservatory (that had to stay due to listed building status), to the stately marble staircase, to the neo-Louis XV1 furniture (a nod to the elegant Parisian house codes), it’s like entering the most decadent, life size dollshouse. And fittingly, there’s an exclusive home collection to add to the Dior universe. Think crystal glassware, hand embroidered linens and a range of teas inspired by Dior fragrances.
On the subject of fragrance, the perfume department is decorated by the most wonderful porcelain sculpture wall by Beth Katleman. Yes, you will want to linger here for a while. And wait, did I mention the three private dressing room suites, decorated with Mats Gustafson and Christian Bérard illustrations?
Art was one of Christian Dior’s great passions so it’s fitting that this ‘house’ is filled with unique contemporary pieces. The ornate staircase is incredible, from the globular silver ‘Distant Cousin’ sculpture by Tony Cragg alongside it, to the curlicued railings, to the animated ‘mural’ by Oyoram, an ever-changing digital screen that brings life and energy to the space. Marc Quinn continues the colour explosion with his limited edition Lady Dior bags and small leather accessories drenched in a vibrant floral print.
And to balance the bursts of colour, of course there are several shades of signature Dior grey, another house code, here reinvented in silver leafed leather, bedazzling chrome and reflective surfaces. In this shining temple, there are mirrors wherever you look.
What do mornings mean to you? That’s the roundabout question being asked by Petit Déjeuner, my new DRG film strand, which launches today! It’s a chance to stretch myself beyond the world of stills and dip a toe into the wonderful realms of moving image.
These video vignettes take their cues from morning routines, musings and motivations. You know, those first waking moments when you may be ruminating on your ambitions – hello Monday #lifegoals! – or if you’re anything like me, wishing you could slow your pace right down as you silence the snooze button for the 12th time…
First in the series is Hurry Up And Wait, directed and photographed by my creative collaborator, Emma Miranda Moore. We took inspiration from our 18-year-old Dutch muse, Bo Jong, whose suitably go-getting spirit had her entering modelling at 14 and moving to London by eighteen. (more…)
Should you ever arrive in London for a short staycation, you’d be advised to disembark at Victoria mainline station then follow the blue line, helpfully taped to the floor. It leads to the rather unglamorous passport office on Belgrave Road at which point you veer off course for another five minutes, along Eccleston Square towards Cambridge Street. And there you’ll arrive at a secret little nook of delight – AKA the Artist Residence Hotel.
This is the route our model Maddy took, arriving in a typical London torrential downpour to the comfort of the Grand Suite, where we had commandeered the bed, chairs and bathroom for my latest Disneyrollergirl fashion shoot. The hotel is the third in the Artist Residence chain of boutique stay-overs and its period rooms are a masterclass in eccentric but luxurious London charm. They’re furnished with reclaimed gems from some of London’s best secret sources, juxtaposed with contemporary artworks from art fairs and independent galleries. To make you feel really at home there’s the downstairs cocktail lounge, all velvet sofas, rustic logs and table football, and the 64 Degrees restaurant (think proper cooked breakfasts and inventive tapas-style sharing plates).
And although it’s not immediately obvious, the location is in fact, the height of fashion, a stone’s thrown from the London HQs of Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo. Position yourself just so by Ebury Bridge, and you’re afforded an unexpected vista of Battersea Power Station.
Allow us to take you on a little tour – just follow the blue line…