I am most-definitely a dress and skirt lady (when it comes down to it), but this spring, I’m all-about pants! I absolutely love the new high-waist slouchy silhouette and when it’s part of a pantsuit? That’s even better! I think the new turquoise blue color Rag & Bone has presented for spring is absolutely gorgeous and shown in great cuts too! This particular pantsuit is definitely be on my must-have list for spring. I can’t wait to wear it to a lunch event! What are your spring favorites?
“It’s a social event with intellectual underpinnings—a very fancy frock with excellent underwear,” he said, “It still gets so hot and busy – people faint, there is still plenty of flirting, and people still wake up the next day thinking, talking, and (now) tweeting about it.”
Meet Damian Barr, a columnist, playwright, writer, and a modern day salonierre. Yes, Damian is the founder of the London based Shoreditch House Literary Salon, making an old tradition both new and welcoming. After reading about the Shoreditch House Literary Salon in the New York Times, Tatler, and British Vogue, I knew I had to learn more. How did this new venture come to be? “Well, salons were wildly popular in the 19th century across Europe,” said Damian, “All I am doing is bringing something back into fashion. Hopefully, it has substance as well as style!” He held his very first Salon at the Shoreditch House in 2008. It all began when Damian simply wished to attend a book event that was about the audience as much as it was about the authors and artists of the works discussed. As he put it, he longed for a better class of literary gossip! “We thought we’d be wildly successful if we had 30 people attend,” he said, “70 folks turned up! Now we have about 300 people who come from far and wide, often lining up around the block to get inside.”
“But, this is about creating and binding together a real community in the real world who go to real bookshops and buy real books.
It’s about eBooks and real books. It’s both.”
So, has his modern concept of the Salon changed since the initial plan? “Yes, we have microphones which I resisted, but it is vital for everyone to hear,” he said, “I was worried they would be impersonal. We started with two guest speakers and now have three or four. We always have free pizza and a welcome drink.” At the end of the day, Damian’s craft of modern day literary gatherings is very similar to those held during the golden days of salons in the 19th century – it’s still about the people who come to see the art and artists as much as it is about the work. “It’s a social event with intellectual underpinnings—a very fancy frock with excellent underwear,” he said, “It still gets so hot and busy – people faint, there is still plenty of flirting, and people still wake up the next day thinking, talking, and (now) tweeting about it.”
And, speaking of tweeting, the Shoreditch House Literary Salon provides a welcome relief and opportunity in our increasingly digital world for individuals to experience personal interaction, share emotions, and be – well, human, while sharing their experiences together online. “This is about taking social media offline,” he said, “We have over 4,500 people in a very active Facebook group and they communicate before, during, and after the salon on Facebook and on Twitter. But, this is about creating and binding together a real community in the real world who go to real bookshops and buy real books. It’s about eBooks and real books. It’s both.” Is it possible that this type of gathering is the bridge to connect the two worlds of print and digital media that are still fighting to come to terms with one another?
“We’ve already been number one on iTunes. Clearly there is an appetite in the world for live literary events that are as much about the people in the room and the person behind the books as the books themselves.”
“It’s a success if one person buys a book they hadn’t considered before and it’s a TOTAL success if they love that book,” said Damian.
No matter the source or medium of the literary material, Damian hopes that the salon educates – whether it’s during the event or through the discussion that follows. “I want people to leave feeling smarter than when they arrived, to feel stimulated and not just by the delicious cocktails,” he said, “It’s a success if one person buys a book they hadn’t considered before and it’s a TOTAL success if they love that book.” And, for faraway fans and those intrigued by the concept, he shared the Salon now uploads its gatherings to iTunes. “I am amazed at our success,” said Damian, “We’ve already been number one on iTunes. Clearly there is an appetite in the world for live literary events that are as much about the people in the room and the person behind the books as the books themselves.” And, what about the concept of expanding the Salon? Has Damian planned for an expansion to other cities? “I recently partnered with the wonderful British Council and we held a Salon in Moscow with two Brits and two Russians,” he said, “It was fascinating to reintroduce this format to a city once famous for such Salons.
Does he have a favorite story from the Salon he can share? “That I can tell you? What happens at the Salon stays at the Salon,” he said, “We have a private dinner after that’s always loads of fun! I think I loved seeing 250 people leap to their feet, many of them in tears, after the Right Reverend Richard Holloway spoke without notes about Yeats and doubt and faith. It was I have to say, an almost religious experience. James Frey was on the microphone after Holloway and it’s not often he’s stuck for words, but he was then.” At each gathering, Damian introduces the night, the guests, and the theme if they have one. “I love the moment when I have a drink in my hand and I can look around the room and see all of these faces totally focused on the guest who is about to read,” he said, “A magic spell descends and all of these busy glamorous people just stop and listen and allow themselves to be taken somewhere new.”
“I think I loved seeing 250 people leap to their feet, many of them in tears, after the Right Reverend Richard Holloway spoke without notes about Yeats and doubt and faith. It was I have to say, an almost religious experience.” - Damian Barr
As for 2012, the next Salon is on March 14th and four writers will be unveiling all new material. “That’s a vital bit of Salon,” he said, “David Nicholls launched One Day at the Salon, Helen Fielding wrote the first three pages of the new Bridget Jones especially for us! So, we have Chris Cleave, Richard Holloway returns, Alexandra Shulman from Vogue, and Colm Toibin. I also run a smaller boutique Salon for Aubin & Wills and we have four UK dates and some really exciting authors planned. I’ll also be doing some exciting collaborations this year!” On top of the monthly inspiration he gathers from the salon, Damian notes other personal inspirations to be Diana Athill, Truman Capote, Dolly Parton, Edmund White, and Richard Holloway.
“I have 108 books on my bedside table,” he said, “I will die under a pile of books. Dislodged in the night.”
With so many happenings and events planned for this year, where does he go in his spare time, or to simply relax? “Right now, I am at Aikwood Tower in the Scottish Borders,” he said, “I am supposed to be writing my new book for Bloomsbury, but instead I’m catching up on emails. Here, I can look out at night and not see a single lit window. I am alone, but not alone and the weight of the 14th century house and its history is all around, but doesn’t hold me back.” Planning the happenings of the day to follow, first things first, he notes he’ll be up early for porridge and coffee. “Then, I’ll head out for a walk along the river, watching out for salmon, and maybe chatting to some anglers before heading back to cook lunch and settling down to an afternoon of writing.” At the moment, Damian is wearing quite a few hats. “I am running a writer in residence scheme for Gladstone’s Library, planning curious literary hjinx with Hendrick’s Gin, sitting on the Board of Brighton Fringe, planning and hosting Reading Weekends in the UK and abroad, and coordinating my cinema projects (Silent Cinema and the Starlite Urban Drive-in.” Is that all? “Well, then I need to finish writing this book,” he said, “My memoir is called Maggie and Me and it is for Bloomsbury. Everything I do involved stories- telling them, sharing them- making them up.”
Well, if one thing is for certain, it’s clear Damian is not making up the fact that he’s certainly accomplished! And, what are his favorite books? “It changes all of the time,” he said, “But, In Cold Blood, Stet, and The Color Purple.” He notes that he currently has 108 books on his bedside table. A picture of his nightstand would quite possibly warrant a Salon of its own. “I will die under a pile of books,” said Damian, “Dislodged in the night.”
Photography by: Daisy Honeybunn
Sarah Mower is one of my favorite fashion journalists and of course- she writes for Vogue! I love her review of the Celine fall 2012 RTW collection as well as her points regarding the fashion line’s clothing designer, Phoebe Philo. This is a must-read article!
“There’s a reason women are so much more respected in fashion now—and not just because business managers have stepped into the twenty-first century. It’s because a female designer’s point of view can be financial gold. Women intuit design needs from what they feel, need, and makes them and their peers comfortable, both physically and psychically. Plus, since we are talking about high fashion, leading-edge design in this case, there is also the push to go a bit further and stand out. Though not, of course, like an idiot fashion-victim.” - Sarah Mower
“Céline’s models, toting fold-over bags (some in mink) and sleek leather iPad envelopes in the crooks of their arms were instantly believable as the sort of women you want to be, or are. The way they looked struck a seamlessly confident compromise between luxury and comfort. Yet, no one wants to be too predictable. And so, Céline has a neon pink mink, too.” - Sarah Mower
the new Kelly Wearstler flagship store – Los Angeles
After attending the Design Bloggers Conference, I was so excited to have the opportunity to stop by the new Kelly Wearstler flagship store on Melrose Avenue. It was everything I could have hoped it would be and more! I’ve stopped by Kelly’s boutique at Bergdorf Goodman on several occasions, but an entire store styled in her signature aesthetic was something that I couldn’t have even begun to imagine. Kelly’s mix of dinnerware, stylish objects for the home, and her fashion line all under one roof? Let’s just say that the new Kelly Wearstler boutique a pure space of modern wonder and retro glamour. It’s clean, edgy, and vibrant at the same time.
Isn’t the inlaid gemstone door handle amazing? Kelly designed these and they are all custom!
I could truthfully write an entire post on the creativity of the window displays alone. The boutique has its own kitchen, a powder room, and the dressing rooms are an amazing haven in their own regard. Many of the pieces within the store are custom (including the light fixtures). And, all guests and visitors to the boutique seem to be a fan of everything! In fact, when I was in the store, a client wanted to purchase the coffee table- of course, it is the one item left in the store that is one-of-a-kind and can’t be purchased. The theme of the boutique is black and white. This color scheme is inherent in the marble, the wood flooring, and even an ancient sculpture Kelly purchased that has weathered to also exhibit the black and white effect.
intage coffee table- one of the only pieces left in the store that can’t be purchased! so stunning!
Love the blue tones and patterns in her newest collection! Reminds me of the ocean….
Kelly has a gorgeous palette of blues and peaches for her resort and spring collections this year. I absolutely love her mix of prints and the tones. And, aren’t the mannequins great? They added such an artful touch to the space- and such drama!
custom gemstone inlaid keepsake box – I’m obsessed with these!
antique sculpture that has weathered to black and white!
the dressing room entrance!
The Kelly Wearstler kitchen in the boutique – isn’t the marble unreal?
the powder room at the Kelly Wearstler flagship- she didn’t miss a single detail! The marble work is simply gorgeous.
I absolutely love the crystal detail on the faucets- aren’t they amazing? I would love to have this sink hardware!
Kelly Wearstler dinnerware
Kelly Wearstler pillows and blankets
Custom Kelly Wearstler light fixtures in the store – Iron tipped crystal spines!
I thought this was unbelievable! These are custom dipped metallic clay pots surrounding the support beam… aren’t they just gorgeous?
Another support beam – so much fun!
I am so grateful for the team at the Kelly Wearstler boutique for allowing me to photograph and share my visit! They were extremely knowledgeable about the design process and the store development. Many thanks to the Assistant Store Manager, Jennifer Salinas and the Kelly Wearstler Retail Director, Tom Juarez, for being such a pleasure to work with during my visit to the boutique. Stay tuned for more from Kelly Wearstler coming soon :) Add this shop to your must-visits on your next trip to Los Angeles!
Where to shop Kelly Wearstler:
Today, I wanted to share images from the Katie Ermilio fall 2012 collection. Since blogging about the Katie Ermilio line for the first time during the fall of 2010, I haven’t stopped following or adoring her collections! Her newest collection certainly does not disappoint, I want every piece. The cuts and fabrics are simply gorgeous and the color of blue she chose is perfect. Doesn’t the blue fabric look gorgeous paired with black and fur? It’s modern, clean, and elegant. There’s also a very feminine and recurring theme of bows and polka dots in this collection, yet they are certainly not fussy. I think my favorite piece is the floor-length skirt featured above. I would love to wear this to the Dallas Museum of Art’s Affair of the Art event this weekend. Stunning! I love the idea of carrying the bright colors into fall in winter in a more subtle way.
photography: Jamie Beck
Voila… my latest post on Taigan Finds!
I can’t be the only one craving a trip to the beach – or maybe just a vacation in general! But, for the time being, I’ve decided that bringing interesting pieces into your wardrobe and home absolutely must be the next best thing. I am loving the idea of an octopus throw for the living room to add that extra bit of flair to the space and how amazing are these chalkboard candles? Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I’ve never seen anything like them! As for the accessories, I love that the necklace and sandals are in beautiful neutral tones with a dose of color and metallic. It just adds a little bit of character to any outfit! And, when it comes to zebra cowhide rugs, I may finally take the plunge and purchase one this year. Or, maybe I need to read Lady Behave first and then make that decision. Happy Oscars weekend everyone (and shopping on Taigan)!
How will you be celebrating and enjoying the Oscars this year? Maybe you’d love to throw a party with close friends, but simply don’t have the time – or, would simply prefer to watch the awards show wrapped in your coziest knit blanket in your living room. No matter the case, it certainly is a perfect occasion to dream up a fabulous soiree. When I think of the Oscars, I think of Hollywood and opulence. I love the idea of a richly decorated tablecloth that’s adorned with buttons, bows, or ruffles for that over-the-top flair and added texture. As for champagne flutes, give them a touch of pink or blush (the color of many cheeks throughout the evening). I think the perfect palette for this year’s Oscars is simply: white, gold, blush, gray, and lilac. These are some of my personal favorite pieces for throwing an Oscars cocktail party this year- gilded, understated, yet purely glamorous.
From Top Left: John Robshaw Placemat, Murano Cream Dinnerware Bowls Crate and Barrel, Voluspa Candle, Hollywood Spotlight from Restoration Hardware, Emerson Made Golden Balloon Necklace, Gold Bowl from Jayson Home and Garden, DVF Gold flatware
Christopher Kane Floral Jacket,, Prism Tortoiseshell Glasses, Chan Luu Silver and Leather Wrap Bracelet, Meadham Kirchhoff Louise Marabou Feather, Emilio Pucci shoes, Paradise Lost t-shirt, lela rose skirt
How do you wear florals in a modern way? Mix and match a floral jacket with a gorgeous metallic skirt. Style the look for a casual event with a funky t-shirt and flats. How do you plan to wear florals this spring?
I am so inspired by the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012 ad campaign and collection! I’m certainly loving all of the beautiful pastels this spring and what better way to present this aesthetic than in a lovely candy and sweet shop! As Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director Marc Jacobs said, “The spirit of our Spring/Summer 2012 collection is reflected beautifully in this new ad campaign. All the tone and texture of the collection — the lightness, the prettiness, the broderie anglaise, the millefeuille layers of organza — are recreated in these wonderful images by Steven Meisel. It is all very soft and very sweet, yet at the same time very bold and very graphic.” I absolutely love this video and it certainly puts me in the spirit of spring! Isn’t the music fantastic as well?
I’ve pulled some of my favorite pastel pieces from the Motilo website:
From top left: Victoria by Victoria Beckham Tiered Crepe Dress, Hermes Scarf, Norma Kamali ruffle bikini, Roger Vivier Colorblock flats, Oscar de la Renta beaded tassel clip earrings, Sofia Coppola for Louis Vuitton SC Bag
Happy weekend everyone! Today, I thought I’d share a few of the things on my wish/dream list at the moment. I absolutely love the Victoria by Victoria Beckham line and especially the dress above. It has such a classic shape and would be a perfect piece to transition from day to night with some fun accessories. Pair it with a crisp jacket for the office (and the fantastic pastel Hermès scarf above for daytime) and simply add these gorgeous cobalt blue earrings from Oscar de la Renta for your evening cocktail party! I love the ruffled bikini from Norma Kamali - I think it’s definitely on my must-have list! And, how GREAT are the colorblock flats from Roger Vivier? I’m in love. They are so much fun and I adore every color!
And, of course, last but not least – on my dream bag list is still the “SC” bag from Sofia Coppola for Louis Vuitton. I’ve been eying this bag for quite some time and it was recently featured in the March 2012 issue of Vanity Fair. It’s shown here in a gorgeous cobalt calf leather. It’s such a classic shape and it’s certainly one that would stay in my wardrobe forever. A forever bag and scarf + super bright and flirty flats? What’s more Nonsense & Sensibility than that! Happy Friday!