Vintage love

Thursday, 29 April 2010

I love vintage fashion and it always massively influences my work. Above is my scarlet dress illustration which is on one of our cards, and was inspired by a vintage piece. Just recently via the great jezebel blog, I have discovered the excellent 1stdibs site, which features some truly decadent vintage clothes to buy.

It's always a feast for the eyes - love the rose print on this 1930s bias cut gown,

the stunning jewelled back on this Mary McFadden cerulean gown,

the mix of patterns on this Martin Margiela wrap skirt and shrug

the asymmetric ostrich feather trim on this Christian Dior gold lace dress,

trailing wisteria or is it lilac? on this strapless gown

and the cheerful Hawaiian print on this 1950s sundress.

Rudyard Kipling's House

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

I just visited Rudyard Kipling's house Batemans down in Sussex. It was elegant and quintessentially English as well as having a very relaxed family home feel.

Kipling was very keen to buy his Jacobean home as soon as he saw it, which had as he put it been "untouched and unfaked" by Victorian 'improvers'.

The National Trust keeps the house just as Kipling had it, but brings it alive by having beautiful bouquets from the garden in every room.

Lovely to think of Kipling writing away in here. As he was short, he had to have his English walnut chair placed on blocks to be the right height for his French walnut desk. The study is also full of books on India and the East, and favourite authors such as Jane Austen and Walter Scott.

I loved the English leather painted wallcovering in the dining room. Here Kipling entertained such prestigious guests as Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (also his cousin), writer Rider Haggard and Lawrence of Arabia.

The garden was also very pretty, with topiary, wild flowers, magnificently old trees, a big stream running along at the bottom of the garden and surrounding rolling hills. As the Guardian describes "Every lunch Kipling tramped across his fields, slashing at nettles with a walking stick before returning to his study and sprawling on the oak day bed with a book'.

Images all my own except for the second photograph,

Cherry blossom picnic

Monday, 26 April 2010

Well, I did end up having a nice picnic over the weekend, but it occurred to me afterwards that I should have set up under one of the many gorgeous blossoms that are around at the moment. It is a quintessential tradition in Japan, where it is known as hanami or 'flower viewing'

I was amazed that the weather reports in Japan all feature cherry blossom maps to show the progress of the blossoms creeping their way up from the warm south to the cool north.

Typically, you would take a bento box full of seasonal foods and drink sake. Although I can't see much food in it, I loved the look of this hamper from the suchprettythings blog who was celebrating under the blossoms in Washington DC.

I loved this cake from weheartit

And then you coudl finish off with a walk along the blossoms. Above is the stunning Philosopher's walk in Kyoto, a series of mini canals lined with blossoms.

Images via,,, weheartit, and

The weekend

Friday, 23 April 2010

I may be sitting in the office typing away, but I am also keeping my fingers crossed that the weather stays fine and I can be doing this tomorrow! Have a nice weekend...

Creative spaces

Thursday, 22 April 2010

We are working on some new collections in the office, so I have been busy pinning inspiring images to the inspiration screens we have. Above is the inspiration screen behind our candle collection. I find them absolutely invaluable

I love looking at other people's mood boards too. Great for a corridor I think.

The Chanel beauty inspiration wall

Interior designer Diane Bergeron's inspiration wall

Images: Anzu, House and home, Unknown, Chanel via Vogue, Diane Bergeron via Bandelle

London in the spring

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Everywhere is looking so pretty at the moment that I couldn't help taking gratuitous shots of the flowers everywhere. I especially love the combination of Victorian white stuccoed buildings or restrained Georgian buildings with blossoms. I took most of the photos in Notting Hill.

The daffodils at Kensington Palace gardens

Cherry blossom outside the Palm House at Kew Gardens

ps and thank you to my lovely cab driver Chalma who so patiently waited whilst I took these shots on my way home from work.

Great styling.

Friday, 16 April 2010

I keep seeing this event on various different blogs and I love the look of it. The silhouettes, the books and flowers on the mantelpiece,

the anemones, and this suitcase filled with plants.

Found via Brooklynbride blog, Hatchcreative and Jen Huang Photography

Creative spaces

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Continuing my creative spaces post, I thought I'd add studios of artists and illustrators. Above is Peter Blake's studio. I love the brick walls and rustic furniture and equipment.

Peter Blake's inspiration board

The kitchen and studio of children's book illustrator Lauren Child. I like the bright colours against the white.

Illustrator Beatrice Alemagna's studio

Illustrator Julie Verhoeven's studio. When I do messy it just looks messy - how do some people manage to make it look chic?

Glamorous Eco shoes

Monday, 12 April 2010

I love these shoes from Kitty's boutique, Using vintage fabrics,ribbons and trims from the 1920s to 1970s the shoes are eco as well as being very glamorous.

I love the styling as well.

Choose from nine different styles in a wide selection of fabrics. Simply gorgeous.

Inside outside

Thursday, 8 April 2010

I am still sketching away my nature taking over idea that I mentioned the other week. I also love these inside outside images that I have come across in the process.

I was playing with this idea when I painted this Rose bed image. Now we just all have to wait for the weather to warm up a little bit!

Images: Unknown, unknown, Annika Vannerus, sunset via poetichome, Anzu, unknown via designersblock blog


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Going a bit hippie in the office and listening to some John Lennon and especially this

The Anzu peace card - rather wish I'd written Hair Peace on it now!