Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Matisse: The Cut-Outs at Tate Modern



I've got a severe case of Matisse Mania. After seeing the exhibition at Tate Modern, my head is swimming with colourful shapes and swirling patterns. Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is a joy. Brilliant, beautiful and full of vitality. The show brings together around 130 works, created between 1937 and 1954, when ill health prevented the artist from painting. Wheelchair-bound using scissors and pins and the help of two assistants, to paint and position paper shapes onto his living room walls, Matisse was prolific in the final years of his life. Crafting simple shapes into beautiful compositions. Confidently snipping away with his scissors, Matisse created a magical world around himself, a new kind of art. The man was dying but his work was full of energy and life. I can't remember an exhibition I enjoyed so much. This is magnificent. Good for the soul. And I can't wait to see it again with Mr That's Not My Age.


 


Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is on from 17 April - 7 September 2014 at Tate Modern.






Monday, 14 April 2014

Ines de la Fressange collaborates with Uniqlo for autumn 2014



Good news, for those of us who missed out the first time round, Ines de la Fressange and Uniqlo are collaborating again for autumn 2014. Prepare to be charmed by another wave of Parisian Tomboy Chic, one that comes in a jaunty flat tweed cap.



Parisian launch. Photo via Twitter.

There are slim trousers and tweeds and layered-up patterned shirts. The London press preview was a very small affair, while over in Paris there was a big fandango to celebrate the opening of the new Uniqlo Marais store. Avec Ines, of course. I'm hoping Uniqlo will Eurostar her over for the UK autumn launch, it's what the public want. And I'm determined to get my hands on at least one of the patterned shirts, they're the highlight of the collection in my opinion. I ventured into Uniqlo to buy one when we were in Paris, but those clever femmes d'un certain age had got there first:




But...a second drop of the IdlF spring collection means there are still a few plain cotton shirts available online:


Cotton lawn shirt, £19.90, available HERE. And denim shirt, £29.90, available HERE.



Did you buy anything from the spring collection? And what do you think of autumn?


Thursday, 10 April 2014

The chunky cotton sweater


Photo: The Sartorialist



What to wear to survive these chilly, spring mornings and the clammy commute home? It's tricky, I know. Bumped into a friend today who had resorted to Uniqlo Heat Tech under her animal print blouse and there I was braving the Birkenstocks. It was way too cold to go sockless first thing, but you should've seen me basking in toe-twiddling glory on the return journey. Though admiitedly, the armful of bags and coat hanging from the crook of my elbow, let the side down a bit. So, I've been thinking about solving my commute conundrum with this statement sweater from Toast. And not just because it keeps popping up in the advertising box thingy over there on the right. No. The chunky cotton Tess Sweater (£165, available HERE ) has a chic, Norwegian Beatnik vibe and could be slung on over everything: jeans, patterned trousers, a pencil skirt - as beautifully demonstrated by Vogue's fashion director Lucinda Chambers (above) - and then rolled up and chucked into my bag on the way home. Neat, eh?

I'd be inclined to opt for a texture over print and team the chunky cotton Toast jumper with this lovely navy Broderie Pencil Skirt from Boden, £70.31, available HERE.





Or a pair of fancy pants like Boden's red Bistro Crop available HERE.






And Birkenstocks, of course.


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

COS for the home




It's hard enough to walk past a COS store already and now they're selling homewares. A collaboration with the Japanese design company Nendo includes a small range of ceramics, tableware and a monochrome globe that I've been perving over online. The price point feels a little higher than the fashion collection: there's a two-cup tea set for £150 and the globe is £125 (which is a bit steep, and way more expensive than any of the orbs in my collection). Though I might stretch to £29 for the aptly named 'pomegranate shaped' candle holder.





Your thoughts please...




Monday, 7 April 2014

Inspiration: the Dries Van Noten exhibition



One of the highlights of our recent trip to Paris, apart from a special anniversary celebration, was a visit to the Dries Van Noten retrospective at the musée Les Arts Decoratif. Aside from drinking champagne with Mr That's Not My Age, the first major exhibition of the Belgian designer's archive was top of my to-do list. But this isn't just a retrospective of the 55-year-old designer's work, each glass case tells a story. How inspiration from art, photography and film, as well as the work of other fashion designers, inform Van Noten's creative process . From Balenciaga to Bacon, a large number of exhibits are on loan from other museums and collectors and are shown together with outfits from the DVN collection and a short film of the catwalk show. This is brilliantly curated.

Dries Van Noten. Photo: New York Times

The exhibition covers two floors: the first is mostly monochrome with a sprinkling of the designer's signature colour and texture. It begins in the mid-eighties when Van Noten started out, with a list of his inspirations:

Do you think he's a fan of Prince Harry?

Some of my favourite cabinets were the chic monochromes and metallics:

Outfits from Balenciaga and Dior.

Dries Van Noten 2009 collection.

And the menswear collection inspired by King Edward VIII, the work of Cecil Beaton and a crown by top milliner Stephen Jones:

Inspirations
Dries Van Noten menswear.

But the second floor is where the magic happens. Where the exhibition explodes into glorious Technicolour.






Iris Apfel has loaned some of her jewellery:




I can just imagine the Geriatric Starlet stepping out to the supermarket in this embellished coat:



The exhibition is fantastic and inspirational and if you're in Paris this summer, go see it. Then take a stroll along the Tuileries. Number three on my to-do list.




Dries Van Noten: Inspirations is on at Les Arts Decoratif until 31 August.