Friday, 29 June 2007

Quote of the day

Happy Friday everyone!

I've just been checking out the Anthropologie website which has been updated since the last time I looked. I was in there store while in New York and could have just about bought one of everything in there, I love that place! So I thought I'd share a quote for the day from their website that I liked.

"Imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering".
- Brenda Ueland.

Also, I thought I'd share this image from their spring home collection as I'm really loving lime and violet at the moment. Maybe I'll try and find some more images over the weekend to share...

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Nancy Corzine

I thought I might profile a few of my favorite designers / style icons. Someone who's style I admire greatly is Nancy Corzine, the furniture, textile and lighting maven. I had a chance to visit her showroom in the D & D Building in New York. Her range of furniture, lighting and textiles are beautiful and sumptuous. I found an interview with her today that I thought was interesting and wanted to share, so please enjoy. I've been searching through my magazines for some pics of a showhouse she did recently, but to no avail....might have to wait til the weekend when I have a bit more time.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The big apple

So, just wanted to rave a bit more about how much I loved New York….
Design-wise, it has to still be the capital of the universe for sure. I had so much fun just wandering the streets and checking out shops that are not available outside the US including
Distant Origin (stockist of Chair Couture), Kate Spade and Anthropologie (where I bought a dress by Corey Lynn Calter – so cute! – see the photo of me wearing it) as well as heaps of fabulous book stores like Barnes and Noble, Strand (tones of 2nd hand as well as end of runs, great bargains to be had, and I’ve just discovered they ship overseas..) and Potterton Books (in the foyer of the D&D Building – specializing in rare and hard to find design books).

I picked up a few great finds, a great book on Andre Arbus that I purchased through an
Amazon vendor and had delivered to my friends apartment (they won’t ship outside the US). What an amazing designer he was. His pieces are so timeless and graceful in proportions. The book is written in French (I’ll have to get my husband to translate it for me!) but the photos are amazing, and have inspired me to change the décor of our apartment…You can click on this link to see some of the designs that are currently in reproduction, or see 1stDibs for a selection of originals.

Speaking of the D & D (Decoration and Design) Building in New York, I spent an afternoon there, which I thought would be plenty of time, but with 18 floors of showrooms (a decorators paradise) I barely got through half! I did manage to check out some of the fabric and furniture showrooms including Clarence House, Quadrille, F. Schumacher (I checked out the Kelly Wearstler and new Jamie Drake collections up close), Brunschwig & Fils, Ralph Lauren, Holland Sherry, Donghia, Nancy Corzine, Kravet, Patterson, Flynn & Martin/Rosecore (for Kelly Wearstler’s rug collection, which is much more beautiful in the flesh), as well as the furniture collections of Maxine Snider and Jan Showers at Tui Pranich & Assoc.

All in all it was a fantastic trip, and I’m now counting down the days til we can go back again….

Monday, 25 June 2007

I want to wake up in a city that never sleeps....

New York! New York! What a great city it is. My husband and I totally fell in love with the city and are looking forward to going back soon. Thanks again to our friends Deb and Ades for putting us up, and putting up with us!

I have heaps to post about the trip and all that I saw, but in the mean time I thought I'd post some images of another fabulous New York apartment, this time the Manhattan abode of fabulous fashion designers Badgley Mischka. These images are from a Harpers Bazaar issue from late last year. I love the simple colour combinations they've used, its ultra stylish and ultra cool, and looks very livable.

Monday, 11 June 2007

Loro Piana

A few weeks back I had the honour of being the first designer in Hong Kong to view the newly launched uber luxe interior textiles collection from Loro Piana. For anyone who isn't familar with this textile house, the family owned Italian company produces the world's finest cashmere fabrics, along with other world renowned natural fibre fabrics. The new interiors collection consists of fabrics made from the finest cashmeres, wools, linens, cottons, silks etc. They are absolutely beautiful and sooo luxurious, and they've inspired me to post some photos that were in Elle Decor (US) a few months back, of the NY based fashion designer Zang Toi's apartment. He has used the Loro Piana cashmere on his sofa, trimmed with mink. I can't think of anything more beautiful and indulgent to live with. I love this apartment, its so fresh and so light, and very Parisienne.

I won't be able to post again for a few weeks as I'm off to NY myself, and hoping to have some great photos or samples to show all on my return.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Time for tea!

I recently received my copy of the new Pink Martini album 'Hey Eugene!', which I'm very excited about. My husband and some friends and I will be seeing them while we are in New York next week, so I'm extra excited. Speaking of which, they've done a cover of the song "Tea for Two" which has inspired me to post some beautiful pictures I've found of tea and tea sets.

I found these two images on the Anthropologie website - one of my favorite shops in the US, which I'll be sure to visit while I'm in NY next week. So cute!

These images are from Plumo which I found through a fellow Australian's blog, Anna from Absolutely Beautiful Things. Thanks Anna! Love your blog by the way.

Some more tea pots, tea cups, and accoutrements that I've found in magazines. I actually collect teapots, and would love any of these to add to my collection!

A colourful and delicious looking selection of desserts from Laduree and Le Gouter perfect for serving with the best tea. The macaroons are my favorite!

These delectable desserts and beautiful tea sets are fit for only the best tea. My favorites are french of course! If you are a tea nut like me, you will only drink tea from a brewed pot, none of that teabag rubbish! Check out Kusmi, Palais des Thes, Mariage Freres, or if you aren't a tea drinker, the most gorgeous hot chocolate from New York company MarieBelle.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Ikat and Suzani textiles

Has anyone else noticed the resurgence of Ikats, Suzani's and other Middle-Eastern and Asian textiles? I'm totally in love with them, and the indigenous colours and designs from each region. So I thought I'd share a source that I found for original Ikats and Suzani's that are hand made in Uzbekistan. Uzbek Craft is an American company with ties in the region that sells textiles and other products online, and they deliver worldwide. Here are just a few of the designs that I fell in love with over the weekend...

I love the vibrant colours of these Ikat fabrics. For anyone that dosn't know, Ikat is a very tradiational method of creating designs in fabric by resist-dyeing the threads before the fabric is woven. In Uzbekistan, villagers take the weft (crosswise filling threads) and tie tiny bits of plastic onto the threads. The tightly tied areas of thread, when put into the dye pot, resist the color and create a pattern, once the plastic ties are removed. Traditional Uzbek ikats are often dyed in lively motifs representing the village life, culture and beliefs of the people. Ikats are often symbols of status, wealth, power and prestige. Modern Uzbek ikats are made from cotton and silk and are brightly colored with man-made or natural dyes. Ikat fabrics are woven by hand on narrow looms which is a labour-intensive process. Uzbek ikat fabrics are generally 15.7” (40 cm) to 23.6” (60 cm) wide. Handwovens, free of the chemical additives and stresses of power-loom production, are vastly different in appearance and feel from machine-made fabrics. Plainweave ikat fabrics, due to the unique resist patterning, look the same on both sides of the fabric; there is no right side and wrong side to the cloth. The Uzbek ikat typically has a 2” to 3” solid border along each selvage.

These Suzani's are fabulous, and I've noticed in a tonne of design magazines lately that people are using these beautiful textiles for bedcovers or wall-hangings. Another history lesson anyone?
Suzani's are antique decorative tribal textiles made in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakstan an other Central Asian countries. The name comes from the Persian word Suzan which means needle. Suzani's were traditionally used as coverlets for the bridal bed, and were made from cotton or silk cloth, with a meticulously hand-embroidered silk thread. This needlework would start at the birth of the daughter, and would continue with the help of family and friends until the bride's dowry was complete.
I will try to post some photos of modern usage or interpreations of both Ikats and Suzani's.