Wednesday, 25 June 2014

interiors styling for christie's

I was happy to be asked to style an interiors shoot for Christie's recently; one shot in particular has made its way on to the cover of a forthcoming Interiors auction catalogue... The rest to follow!

abcdcs: david collins studio

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated the launch of ABCDCS: David Collins Studio on a balmy summer evening at Spencer House. This beautiful new tome celebrates the work of the late, great architect and interior designer David Collins and his eponymous studio. Presented alphabetically to reveal David Collins’ myriad influences and inspirations, it's a visually captivating journey from A to Z. The book has featured in my life a fair amount over the past few years; it was designed and art directed by Duncan and his newly established creative agency Campbell—Rey. ABCDCS: David Collins Studio is published by Assouline.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

white tiger

I've been working away recently on designs for a new range of printed fabrics (made using my own illustrations), which I'll be launching soon with the White Tiger. This is the coral and blue version; more colourways to follow. Watch this space!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

from the vaults: cap d'ail

It's been three years since we spent a blissful June weekend in Cap d'Ail - a small, serene town on the Cote d'Azur. It was a weekend of sunshine, swimming, seafood and pale rosé wine, followed by a hectic couple of days in Paris. I came across these photographs recently - I took them on a cheap disposable, which remains my favourite way to capture the spirit of a holiday.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Sunday, 15 June 2014

wish list: interior life

I stumbled upon Interior Life a few weeks ago, in Daunt Books on the Fulham Road. It jogged something in my memory - I was sure I'd read about the book and its author, Gert Voorjans, some time ago. Voorjans is a Belgian interior designer with a richly layered aesthetic I'm highly in admiration of; colourful, eclectic, elegant and eccentric. His book is a huge, dazzling tome, a visual feast of a book which captures his style style and gives us a clue to his way of thinking. I'm still yet to pick up a copy, but I really don't think I'll be able to hold out for much longer...

Responsible for most of Dries Van Noten's nine flagship stores (another Belgian designer I admire), the pair have been working together for almost two decades. Previously, Voorjans worked for another famous Belgian, the legendary antiques dealer and interior designer Axel Vervoordt.

I love these green glazed cupboards.

Lilac walls and furniture and bright red bookshelves! I would very much like to spend a night in this room - the dream.

A splendid set of cushions.

'Every element we add has to at least give the impression that it could have always been there', says Voorjans of his studio's style, a commendable concept when it comes to interior design, and a concept which I very much appreciate.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

last sunday in snapshots

Breakfast: French toast with English strawberries and yoghurt.

Lunch: aubergine croquettes and Spanish omelette at the pub with my friend Emily Platzer. She was a little hungover but I loved her new dress.

Dinner: homemade gazpacho on the balcony at home. Ice cold soup on a hot summer's evening - nothing beats it. I spent the rest of the day sorting through some of my old drawings. This one, a torn remnant, is a favourite that I've kept hold of.

Monday, 9 June 2014

botanical inspiration

And so I've been thinking, until I can actually be a proper gardener, perhaps I'll just dress a bit like one. Or at least that was the thinking behind a recent new purchase - my Goodwood Worksuit Jacket from Private White VC, which was designed in collaboration the Goodwood Revival Festival. The texture of the jacket is wonderful - it's been garment dyed and washed so it's very soft, and hopefully it'll only get better with use and age. I love the olive green colour of the cotton, plus the buttons are detachable and can be swapped for ones of a different colour (I think I'll go for red). With its neat little high collar and deep pockets, to me it looks like the sort of jacket a gardener would have worn in the 30s or 40s. This is the vibe I want to channel for early summer I reckon. Pass me a trowel.

See what I mean?

Botanical inspiration: Cecil Beaton at Reddish House, 1963.

Even more outdoor inspiration: I found this image over at FOLK at home.

Clearly I'm going off at a tangent here, but I can't help myself. I suppose I just need to get out there and actually do some gardening (although - terrible excuse - I do only have a city balcony to work with). But is it the romantic idea of gardening or the clothes that I'm more interested in? I think I probably know the answer to that question! Anyway, what about these lovely planters by Sean Roy Parker from The Garden Edit? I love the slightly wonky shapes and colourful glazes.

Perhaps not so ideal for the garden, but another new purchase also worthy of a mention: my pair of double monk strap shoes from Dr Martens. I'd been wanting a pair of monk strap shoes for a long time but I could never find the right style. I like how simple and pared down this version is - perfect for wearing with a jazzy sock and a colourful trouser, or with no socks and a pair of pastel shorts come the summer.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Friday, 6 June 2014

a dreamy dorset weekend

Lucy and I headed down to Dorset early last Friday morning - we were bound for Ben Pentreath's Old Parsonage. We spent the afternoon working (photographing a lot of antique furniture and eating strawberries on the go). Early in the evening, Ben arrived from Hampshire. We drank gin and tonics and chatted about our weeks, before taking a quick stroll down to the lake and around the village.

I hadn't visited the Old Parsonage for two years - a long time before I started working for Ben and just before I graduated from Saint Martins. It's heaven.

The twilight view from the village green across the hills was almost too much. Mist, light and shadow. Bridie and D. arrived later on; we ate supper and drank quite a lot of wine, before retreating to our bedrooms for a good, long sleep.

Saturday morning was spent in nearby Bridport - we collected supplies for dinner that evening, and I picked up a couple of books from the excellent old bookshop.

One of Ben's books, discovered in my bedroom, with its perfectly illustrated cover.

Ben's beautiful garden.

We headed off to Abbotsbury for lunch, where signs announcing how baby swans were soon to be hatching at the local swannery littered the entire village. Obviously I had to get down there pronto. We wandered over after lunch, and if truth be told, the place was more than a little odd. I have never seen so many swans in one place, and whilst they are naturally very beautiful creatures, I think their appeal lies in the fact that one only sees a swan every now and again - a swan is a mysterious, enchanting creature, to be spotted from afar, from a Palladian bridge perhaps, or from the other side of a misty lake. Seeing so many up close sort of shattered the illusion. Alas, we still had a very amusing time - one particularly hilarious moment involved an exceedingly large swan that outright refused to let us cross its path (we proceeded to run in the other direction). It was quite terrifying actually - aren't swans very good at breaking human limbs? I went away daydreaming about the eccentric King Ludwig II of Bavaria (often nicknamed the Dream King or Swan King) - a personal hero of mine due to his mad obsessions with beauty, castles and... swans.

We returned to the house and enjoyed a brief afternoon nap. For the rest of the afternoon the kitchen was a hive of activity; all hands were on deck as we got going with preparations for supper. I roasted chickens with butter and herbs from Ben's garden, D. made the most perfect, fragrant tarragon mayonnaise and Lucy assembled a salad of broad beans, peas, goats cheese and edible flowers. Bridie whipped up a wonderful meringue which we turned into pudding and served with passionfruit, mango, cream and ginger biscuits. We christened it the Dorset Mess. Ben had invited four friends over, including antique dealer Edward Hurst and his lovely wife Jane, a garden designer - we ate and drank into the night. Lots of fun.

A perfect moment just before our guests arrived - we sat in the garden with gin and tonics (yes, more gin), watching through the trees as the sun slowly began to set.

Sunday morning passed most gently, as all good Sunday mornings should. Eggs, bacon and coffee swiftly brought us all back to life and cured our slightly sore heads. We read the newspapers and meandered on down to the lake once more, via the sweet little church which sits at the end of Ben's garden.

Hazy weekend morning light.

D. drove us through the village to drop off a bunch of peonies at Anthony and Harriet's house (Anthony and Harriet were the other two guests at dinner the previous night). They have an incredible home. As in, absolutely incredible and completely wondrous. This is a corner of their entrance hall.

After a quick lunch of leftovers stuffed into sandwiches, we put the Old Parsonage to sleep and began making our way back to the city, taking a detour via Salisbury to visit a client. I love this quick snap of Duncan which I took in Ben's newly painted and really quite spectacular purple dining room before we departed. The intense colour has divided opinion - personally I'm in favour - it's magical after dark...

All in all, a sublime weekend. Thanks Ben!