A Cornish gentleman's life

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

I recently visited Lanhydrock House, a Jacobean stately home in Cornwall.

In some ways it was your typical grand house, with all the pre-requisites: a perfect little chapel, a stunning library with an intricate plasterwork ceiling, incredible huge kitchens with separate sections for dairy, fish, bakery etc. But what made it really special and unique was the lifestyle it conveyed.

A lost Victorian and Edwardian lifestyle of grand dinners on tables trailed with ivy, picnics on tiger rugs, and funny gentleman's clubs with name like 'The Beefsteak club'.

Lanhydrock was also interesting as it was almost completely masculine. Above is one of the few rare corners of the house that showed a rather more feminine touch.

It perfectly conveyed an Edwardian gentleman's life: bezique and whisky, Eton societies and cricket matches, hunting and billiards, and the military.

Captain Tommy was clearly a very sporting gentleman who wasn't adverse to the odd tipple. We think these Anzu cards hangover cure, and cricket would suit him perfectly.

Above Captain Tommy's dressing room. You can learn more about the house here

Living on a train..

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The romance of traditional train travel with all the luxurious trimmings has always appealed to me ever since I watched Shanghai Express with Marlene Dietrich.

And the romantic idea of living or having the Anzu studio in a converted train carriage definitely appeals.

These old tube carriages are used as offices near the Anzu studio in Shoreditch, and are so in demand they is a waiting list for them.

A temporary garden on a tube in Chicago.

A Turkish train, and below details from Queen Victoria's carriage.

Or alternatively, just book yourself on the Eastern Orient Express!

Taishō kimonos

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Vintage kimono has been really inspiring me lately. Above a piece of work I have been working on recently.

And whilst in Tokyo, I was very privileged to be invited to visit this vintage kimono shop. Hidden away and by appointment only to such illustrious customers as Paul Smith the lovely dealer Sarasa specialises in selling vintage kimonos from the Taishō period (1912-1926).

Sarasa took out exquisite kimono after kimono from her amazing collection.

The studio was piled high with the most stunning of kimonos in the richest indigos, almost electric blues and scarlet reds decorated with falling cherry blossoms and golden embroidered phoenixes. 

Although barely visible once the kimono is on, the collars that sit underneath were decorated with the most intricate of embroidery. I think there is something quite lovely about having something so beautiful hidden, with perhaps only the chance of it being glimpsed. 

Sarasa picked this embroidered cockerel collar out as one of her favourites. Animal embroideries are more rare.

The underpinnings of the kimono. Extra swathes of belt are added for slimmer women, as too slender a silhouette is not desired for the ideal kimono.

Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of one of Sarasa's most interesting pieces, but it was rather like this. A sort of kimono patchwork blanket comprising strips of warm fabric and denim, which would have been made by a farmer to keep warm. These pieces are quite rare and are highly sought after by designers today.

And lastly, these lovely pink and red kimonos for little girls. If you would like to learn more about Kimono Sarasa, check out her facebook page


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Swans are such beautiful, magical creatures and we couldn't help be inspired by them for our Anzu Swan card, hand-decorated with Swarovski crystals. And below some images we collected for inspiration.


Friday, 4 October 2013

Daisies is a quirky Czech film from the 60s, and I love the way it looks. A little bit art house, but very fun and mischievous with some great images and interiors.

Flower crowns and butterflies,

palm leaves

and lots and lots of collaged artwork on the walls.

Folk pattern..

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Loving a mix of intensely coloured patterns at the moment. Above, a painting I am working on, and below some images from my inspiration board.

Neon colours,

mismatching cushions piled in a hammock via the gorgeous gypset shop gypsyriver.au

beautiful Czech embroidered skirt,

cosy, patterned steps.