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in all the arts, whether paintings, literature and theatre, one of the delights of fashion design can be found in the historical references.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.

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This week… bags, birds and The Beatles

I filed copy on two features this week, the first on wine and the second on coffee. Both were fun to do (sitting around tasting wine and coffee, what’s not to like!). Also, delving deep into a subject is right up my street. I like to tell myself it’s my natural journalistic skills but it’s probably more a case of being just plain nosey.

I’ve become fascinated by terroir, the magical combination of temperature, climate, soil composition and production methods, that impacts on wine, food and, yes, coffee. Fresh authentic seasonal food, produced sustainably and prepared simply.

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Up close with Nick Knight: fashion photographer

Nick Knight, OBE is a fashion photographer extraordinaire. In fact, he no longer defines himself as a photographer but says he has become an image maker.

Knight’s new exhibition Roses From My Garden opens this Saturday 4 July in the gardens at the romantic Waddesdon Manor. The exhibition was due to open in March but was postponed due to the Coronavirus COIVD-19 pandemic.

Roses From My Garden features 16 stunning images of roses from Knight’s garden where he likes to walk, and cut the blooms to photograph in a unique way.

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This week … under lockdown (eleven)

I’ve tried meditation, virtual festivals, coffee mornings and yoga. I’ve brushed up my social media skills with online training and travelled to Slovakian green pastures courtesy of Zoom. Most days I feel I’m getting a handle on the world. This week though has been a humdinger. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry any more.

In the words of Simon Evans, writer and director STAGED BBC1, “If the world is going to end, get on and do it. I’ve had enough of this f**king teasing”. @SimonEvans25

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20 Years of Mary Quant

I popped into the V&A yesterday in eager anticipation of the groovy, fab and far out fashion at the new Mary Quant exhibition which opened in London last week. Okay, I’m done with the hip vocabulary now. Mary Quant traces the personal and social history of the iconic designer from 1955 to 1975. Set over two floors, make sure you allow a couple of hours browsing if you want to immerse yourself.

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