Shop the post: the useful and beautiful gift guide



Gift guide - Toast hot water bottle cover

Christmas shopping: so many decisions, so little time! If you’re struggling with keuzestress (aka ‘choice stress’), stick to the William Morris mantra of only choosing things that are useful and beautiful. (more…)



The culture of fashion: A Halstonette’s ephemera for sale



Halston

Halston worked with glamazon models like the late great Naomi Sims (draped in white silk jersey), Marina Schiano, and Elsa Peretti. Elsa came out with her head bowed in a black fedora. Backstage, I congratulated her on her wonderful presence. She shrugged her shoulders and exclaimed in her lyrical voice, “But Nancy, I bowed my head because I was so scared!” It was a time of models with great personalities – these women had unique styles. Elsa had that Warhol style that embraced the unpredictable yet fascinating.”

The above is from an interesting Q&A with Halstonette Nancy North, who is auctioning items including Elsa Peretti jewellery, Halston fashion sketches and candid snaps of Halston and co at Doyle today. My imaginary paddle is poised for the Antonio Lopez illustrations… (more…)



A coffee vs commerce conundrum



Jannel Therese Blank Street

“Six pounds for a cup of tea and you don’t even get a china cup!” This complaint was quoted to me some 30 years ago by my friend G; his mum aghast at the price of a cuppa in some National Trust cafe or other. Yet it’s a refrain that auto-plays all too frequently in my head when I pass any number of overpriced chain coffee outlets. Especially in the last two years when the premiumisation of, well, everything has played out in the world’s fashionable metros.

At WatchHouse (below), a new-ish UK coffee chain, you do get a lovely ceramic cup. The chain is notable for its upscale Aesop-esque branding (its design team is headed by a former Aesop designer), superior snacks, well-mannered baristas and several-steps-up-from-Starbucks hospitality area. (more…)



Shop the post: The low-down on party shoes



Julia Nobis by Zoe Ghertner for M Le Monde

Question: do people go for a fully glitzed-up party look these days? Or do they go for more comfort-led with a nod to shine and bedazzle? I’ve seen a lot of extreme glam-rock platform heels* doing the rounds on all the shopping sites, not to mention the Bottega Veneta Mostra heels*. But equally, I’ve noticed that in real life, the gorgeous young things are wearing the opposite. Like, a satin slip with 70s-style Adidas Gazelles (that is, the amped-up 2020s version at 2020s prices – thanks Gucci*).

Somewhere in-between is a middle ground where the New York minimalistas are pitched. (more…)