Quote of the day: Edwin Heathcote



James Lee Byars The Golden Sphere - Jardin des Tuileries

“In a manner, the bench is the apotheosis of urban life, the city’s most democratic place and a forum from which to watch life happen. In a commercialised public arena in which we have become recognised as consumers and customers rather than citizens, the bench remains an unalloyed public good.”
Edwin Heathcote, FT

This excellent essay by FT architecture critic, Edwin Heathcote looks at the role of street furniture – public seating, streetlights, newsstands and post boxes – in a fast-changing urban landscape. Populating the city’s liminal spaces like familiar friends, I always loved the newspaper dispensers in New York (do they still exist?) and the green metal chairs in Paris’s Jardin des Tuileries.

Like silent supporting actors in oh-so-many classic movies, they’re not just essential street kit for locals, they also serve as perfect photo props for tourists. Here’s a favourite photo of James Lee Byars’ The Golden Sphere surrounded by the essential green chairs (top) (more…)



R.I.P Vivienne Westwood



Vivienne Westwood 1987 by Michael Roberts for Vogue

A truly sad end of an era for fashion. Our most inspiring guiding light has left the building and I don’t have anything to say other than thank you for all you taught us about fashion, art, style, humility and humanity. (Because fashion is never just about clothes.)

Vivienne Westwood was endlessly misunderstood and frequently ridiculed but she stuck to what she believed. She was full of contradictions, but I admired her for her self-belief, incredible tenacity and rebellious spirit. (more…)



In case you missed it – 2022 edition



Miu Miu chinos ss22

While newsletters may be the new blogs, I still have a solid reader base and for that I thank the regulars who revisit and even subscribe. You know who you are! (Reminder: you can subscribe here to receive my weekly blog digest.) But in case you missed any, here are a few of my favourite posts from 2022…

The trend round-ups are always popular. 2022 was the year of Miu Miu chinos, designer water bottle holders, Mary Jane shoes and Khaite everything. Revisit the reports here and here. (This month I also chimed in on the Miu Miu micro-mini craze for BBC Culture.) (more…)



Shop the post: Chalet girls



Slim Aarons après-ski style 1960

This week as I marinate in the damp, wind-battered streets of NW10, I’ve been reading all about the French mountain resort of Megève. In particular, the ‘chaletwear’ store AAllard that specialises in après-ski wear and whose founder Armand Allard actually invented the ‘fuseau’, aka the tapered, tailored stirrup pant that begat the stretchy ski pant as an early garment to tuck into ski boots. (When local ski champ Émile Allais wore them for his triple medal win in the 1937 world skiing championships, a trend was born.) (more…)