Unusual offices

Friday, 31 October 2008

I just came across these images of the Google offices and I think they're great. Train carriages always capture my imagination.

Below are the offices of 3 Rings, an online games company. I like the empty picture frames on the wall.

I bet the employees have fun meetings sitting out on the turf in this twba office in Tokyo.

Below is another image from the Google offices.

The unexpected effect of a sitting room that is actually an office is what I was going for in my office, although I think I might change it a bit and tone down the girliness!

Jasmine and I in the office this week.

The studios

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The anzu office is in a block full of offices/studios near the Goldborne Road in Notting Hill. There are all sorts of people in here from nursing care services, to ceramicists to musicians such as Sophie Ellis Bextor who has a recording studio here. I was walking along the corridor yesterday, one of the office doors was open and I spotted this through there. I could hardly believe it!

I thought a bar had been opened but it turned out to be a drinks/bar-tending business and the guys were kind enough to show me round, telling me all about their business and showing me the finest alcohol in their extensive collection (all of which had been given to them as samples). They had even had to have special shelves built so that the strong bass vibrations from the Notting Hill Carnival wouldn't knock all the bottles off. This had happened to them in the first year and they'd lost a third of their stock.

Jasmine joined us, and before we left Ben made us some cocktails - a sidecar and two daiquiris, and gave us bottles of the company's pre-mixed cocktails to take away too! You can check Ben Reed's cocktail books out on Amazon - I especially like the glamorous "Hollywood cocktails".

British Style Genius

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

I am really enjoying the British Style genius series. It is inspiring and entertaining and I won't be missing tonight's episode on bbc2 at 9. If you've missed the earlier ones, don't worry you can watch them on www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer or have a look at the website www.bbc.co.uk/britishstylegenius/ The last one looked at the rebel and covered the designers Alexander McQueen, John Galliano (Dior) and Vivienne Westwood. I find all of them completely inspiring.

I love Alexander McQueen's tailoring. For his breathtaking Autumn/Winter collection this year(see 2 photos above) McQueen looked to the Raj and Coronation regalia.

Dior in Vogue

I think John Galliano is the master of colour, I love his painterly approach.

For me, Galliano seems to look at the Orient more for his inspiration, although for one collection he was inspired by Princess Margaret!

A Cecil Beaton photograph of Princess Margaret

I have been coveting Vivienne Westwood's Sex pistols t-shirt designs in my vintage t-shirt book recently.

I always find what Westwood has to say thought provoking and it is amazing to think she was at the forefront of both the punk and the new romantic looks.

Tonight's episode focuses on the country look, so I imagine it's going to look pretty much like this. Judging from the surprising amount of wellington boots I've seen lately, and no this is not on the Yorkshire moors but in Notting Hill, it probably won't be long before this bag from Saskia Marcotti is everywhere too!

Images courtesy of Vogue.co.uk


Monday, 27 October 2008

I have been working from home today, with copious cups of tea and cashmere slippers on! Can't believe it's not yet 5 o'clock and already dark.

Cecil court

Friday, 24 October 2008

Today amazingly enough for me I actually went out early to have breakfast (a full English one) at the restaurant in St. Martin's Hotel. I like it because it is modern, but has lots of books and odd pre-war scientific instruments around, which remind me of my childhood home.

Cecil court, otherwise known as Booksellers' Row is a pretty Victorian street, which has lots of antiquarian print and book shops and has appeared in several films including Miss Potter. The street had existed before Victorian times, but was burnt to the ground when a certain Mrs Colloway, who was running a brandy shop/brothel purchased kindling, emptied her brandy barrels and set fire to her heavily insured stock!

I wanted to look for any prints they might have on Victorian explorers for a painting idea I have, but unfortunately they didn't have anything on those lines. I had also told myself I wasn't going to buy anything, but couldn't resist this picture below - I've put him on guard by my front door.

Ottoman flowers

Thursday, 23 October 2008

I am doing some freelance work on some Ottoman style illustrations and I have been trying to find out what the Ottomans did when it came to flower arranging. My Turkish horticultural expert (you know who you are!) tells me that tulips were quite the thing then. In fact, the wealthiest period of the Ottoman empire was even called the tulip era.

Further research has shown that hyacinths, saz leaves and of course roses were popular. Some of the early Ottoman paintings have an almost gently lyrical Chinese aspect to them and were filled with lotuses and peonies but I don't know if those flowers were around in Turkey then, or how they displayed flowers. If any readers of this blog know more, I would love to hear from you! Please email me, Ellen at info@anzu.co.uk

Above images: A detail of a painting of mine from a previous project and a stunning Iznik tile

Steve McQueen

Monday, 20 October 2008

I am currently working on some new men's cards, and what better place to look for inspiration than Steve McQueen? A stylish man's man nicknamed "The King of Cool" McQueen appeared in such all-time film classics as Bullitt and The Great Escape.

McQueen was an avid bike and car enthusiast. He often performed many of his own stunts, was a keen dirt bike rider, and owned many classic bikes and cars including this limited le Mans winning D-type Jaguar.

In The Thomas Crown Affair McQueen is immaculately tailored. A prominent Savile Row tailor said that this Prince of Wales check suit inspired him to take up the profession, and Ralph Lauren cites this film as his favourite and most inspirational film for his designs.

Why not no. 11

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Why not use a vintage suitcase to display cards or other products? I think this look works especially well for men's cards and has a great retro look.

New shoes

Monday, 13 October 2008

These are my feet on their way to the office this morning and to meet forensics after our burglary last week - not a cheery day, so I decided to wear my new leopard print shoes to cheer me up! Everywhere is looking so beautiful at the moment that despite the risk of boring everyone with yet more autumn photos I had to post this picture of the Serpentine, Hyde Park taken today.


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I love Autumn. Although I dread the onset of winter, to me autumn is so beautiful and today was no exception. On our lunch break we headed off to the park with books and my sketchpad.

Me again in Kensington Palace Gardens picking up leaves to do some drawings from.

You can't really pick it out from these photographs but my coat has the most lovely green and gold embroidery of ferns along the hem. I couldn't wait to wear it again.

Our boots card - just perfect for this weather, and below the autumn still life for me to work from. The conkers are for my wardrobe - definitely the best method I have found of deterring moths from nibbling cashmere supplies.


Monday, 6 October 2008

I just realised I forgot to mention I finally picked up my portfolio and used it for a couple of meetings last week. It is plain grey on the outside with red ribbons and anzu embossed in red, but when you open it there is a burst of colour. I had each panel lined with a different Japanese paper to echo the patchwork designs I have been doing. I love it! The photos don't do it justice. In the end they had a whole team at Wyvern bindery working on it to get it right, and I'd like to say thanks to them.