Goring Beaach June

This week… name dropping Rick Stein, Cecil Beaton and Napoleon

What is it about a celebrity name that grabs a headline? Celebrity status has been around since forever. Rome’s first emperor Caesar Augustus knew the power of endorsement back in ancient Rome, adding his image to coinage that circulated around the vast territories. His personal ‘brand’ mimicked Alexander the Great by adopting an eternally youthful clean-shaven image, with a carefully ruffled ‘fringe’ (or bangs, if you’re a US reader, Hello!). This week the industry has rallied together with their favourite celebrities to entice us all out of lockdown.

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Review: High Gloss

Over his career Pop Art artist, Heiner Meyer, has captured the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century consumer culture through images of cinema, fashion, TV, luxury cars and elite sports. Meyer’s sculptures and paintings often focus on the feminine beauty culture, employing bright colors his work often satirises well-known and celebrity subjects.

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Cappodocia

This week… Blonde Hedgehogs, blossom and going underground

So the UK begins to unlock again and so far, so good. With 47% of the population having received at least one vaccine dose, the numbers across cases, deaths and hospitalisations continue to fall. It’s early days. After more than a year of this nightmare it doesn’t feel realistic to breathe entirely easy yet, but I dare to hope we’re headed in the right direction. It’s self protection, of course, this caution in letting my dreams get out of hand. The disappointment would be too much to bear, and I don’t want to jinx things. Nonetheless, this week I packed away the heavy winter clothes and switched my wardrobe to lighter items, imagining I was packing for a perfect weekend away.

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Manolo Blahnik: An Enquiring Mind

As in all the arts, whether paintings, literature and theatre, one of the delights of fashion design can be found in the historical references. In 2019, the exhibition An Enquiring Mind: Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection explored the inspiration behind the master of shoe design. In his over-50 year career, Blahnik has drawn on his love of art, interior design and fashion of the 17th and 18th centuries, to create the most exquisite footwear. It’s enough to make Sex and The City’s Carrie Bradshaw swoon.

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Couture Royal wedding dresses: in conversation with Justine Picardie

Justine Picardie is a former Contributing Editor at Harper’s Bazar and author of Coco Chanel: The Legend and The Life and a new book Miss Dior coming soon. In a live conversation from their individual homes, Picardie and Caroline de Guitaut, Deputy Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art at The Royal Collection Trust, explored the history of Royal wedding dresses. Later, still in a hazy romantic mood, I pulled out family albums to gaze again on some of the Caswell brides of the 20th century.

W

How to enjoy heritage English wines

Wine growing is not new in Britain. While it seems likely that the Romans introduced vineyards it was in the Norman period, with the arrival of William the Conqueror in 1066, that successful viticulture really took off. English wine is a growing industry with increased sales both here and overseas. Recent years have also seen a rise in wine tourism initiatives including Cellar Door openings and wine festivals across England and Wales. There are around 3,500 hectares under vine in the UK, up 150% in the past ten years, with an additional 3.2m vines planted in 2019.*

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