After the stunning kitchen garden at my Aunty Liz and Uncle Tom’s Baltic-side bolthole in Finland last week, back to a bump in Blighty and the overgrown paths at Plot 35a. Actually, I only left the plot for a week, not two as I usually do for a summer holiday, and popped up there before [...]
While the British allotment-holder struts and frets from March to October, in Finland it is, as you can imagine, entirely different. Snow covers the ground from late autumn to mid-spring, and nothing can be sown into the soil, still frozen in April, until well into May. The season is short, but intense – as I [...]
Jodie Stimpson is one of the UK’s leading female triathletes. At only 25 years old, she recently won two Gold Medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – one in the women’s triathlon and then in the team event alongside the Brownlee brothers and team mate Vicky Holland. Last year she finished runner up in the ITU World Triathlon Series.
The 100k (62 miles) Race to the Stones is pitched as one of ‘the most accessible ultras out there’, catering for the rapidly increasing number of ultra runners for whom it seems that a marathon distance of 26.2 miles isn’t long enough.
I feel a bit sorry for the blackberry. Of course, I don’t mean the less hip cousin of the iPhone, but the very very humble berry of late summer. It is one of the easiest fruits to find in British hedgerows and parkland, yet – perhaps because of this ubiquity – they’re not the most [...]
Fashion isn’t a house of cards – where one ill-judged manoeuvre brings the whole thing tumbling down – but rather a game of Kerplunk!. Meaning, if you twiddle the wrong bit, it makes a lot of noise and you lose a few of your marbles, but the whole thing doesn’t crash to the ground.
That’s what occurred to me when news broke today of Christophe Lemaire’s mutual parting of ways with the French luxury juggernaut Hermès.
One of the plants I inherited when I took over Plot 35a last year was a gooseberry bush. It was quite straggly and had criss-crossing branches and as a result cropped poorly last summer. The handful of gooseberries it did produce, however, were red, not green, and I later found a faded label revealing it [...]
Indy blogger Sarah Outen is currently on a mission to complete the journey she set out on in April 2011. Her London2London:Via the World journey aims to complete a loop of the planet using a rowing boat, a bike and a kayak. She is currently kayaking the Aleutian Islands and Alaskan peninsula with team mate Justine Curgenven before she sets off on the next stage cross-continent by bike. She updates us here.
A little bit of history repeating: something old makes something new, at Raf Simons’ Dior and Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel
The much-vaunted and oft-debated “point” of haute couture is tied up in history. Haute couture is living history, less a retrograde throwback and more a direct link to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The latter was when “haute couture” as a term was officially incorporated by Charles Frederick Worth, couturier to Empress Eugenie and most of her court; the former was when the idea of a fashion dictator was pioneered by the first celebrity dress designer, Marie Antoinette’s “Minister of Fashion” Rose Bertin. Those are some heavy antecedents, but they’re ones couturiers often bank on. Buying haute couture is a bit like buying a stake in a past you can never be part of.
Chinese Whispers at Versace, Frankenstein’s Monster at Schiaparelli. Haute couture autumn/winter 2014
I’m sure I’ve talked about the importance of individuality in haute couture before. It’s the raison d’être for the thing – couture clothes are complete one-offs, made to the specific measurements and requirements of incredibly wealthy and demanding women. Those demanding women come in all shapes and sizes, with different tastes.
They always have. While haute couture once set the trends – there’s an exhibition about to be launched at Paris’ Musée Galliera titled “Les Années 50, La Mode en France 1947-1957″, which lauds that golden age – it still had room for disparate voices. Balenciaga showed his unfitted suits when Dior-influenced cinched waists were at their tightest. Chanel, Schiaparelli and Vionnet had violently opposed views of dressing women, but they co-existed, and thrived.
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