So I went to London last week and it was hotly anticipated, only by me you understand, but still – got a total ‘rush’ – and of course it was MOST rushed…First stop Luke Irwin sample sale, these are beautiful rugs, silken luxe, softly elegant and complex, I pumped for ‘Ikat’ in burnt gold, as the light catches the colour – the pattern shimmers:
Best to go knowing what you want and ready to dive when it’s sample sale season, ikats are one of my favourite designs, and Mr Irwin’s are seriously fab, here it is full scale in blue:
Next stop – commode fantasy. The Decorative Fairs’ in London have had ‘bleached walnut’ pieces appearing. On enquiry, the process lightens old pieces and then buffs them to soft sheen – they are fresh and elegant in this re-creation. The one I was seriously coveting is mid 18th Century French, the marquetry work looks like a geometric puzzle flowing over the serpentine curve complemented by ornate foliate handles. So she’s coming home too – thank you too James Worrall Antiques.
It’s going to look great with my little ‘bingo’ trays flash-purchased at Liberty and a seriously fab mirror yet to be
chosen saved up for.
I managed to resist the lambrequin chandalier, but having never seen one like it I was seriously tempted:
Next Stop Anthropologie for Su Blackwell’s exhibition, I had never seen her book sculpture up close. Dreamy… for those who would like a slice of magic her sculptures have been photographed, and can be repeatedly gazed upon, in a children’s book The Fairy-Tale Princess.
On closer inspection…
complete with castle…
and happy ending…
In store – I took home napkins for Christmas
Granny deffinitely gets the dog! I only wish they had an owl in the menagerie, but I found solace in the wide-eyed-jar I had been hankering after:
After a little charm diversion – gosh is that the time – must dash
Onto my next exhibiton, ‘The Unseen Rex Whistler’, chez Colefax and Fowler on Brook St.
Here it was upstairs, not just ‘upstairs’, but in the room upstairs of John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster fame, brilliant lacquer yellow. Yes, you remember…vividly reproduced on the cover of World of Interiors:
Indeed the whole exhibition glowed – it felt intimate. Close up Rex Whistler’s art, letters and illustrations are so finely drawn. You feel his quiet charm, irreverent eye and for me – an inner sadness. After my whirlwind retail tour, I paused and studied the unseen.
A doodle for ‘Edith Oliver’s Guest book, to welcome in the New Year 1941.
the theatre curtain design for ‘La Spectre de la Rose’ 1944, you can still see the pencil grid upon which the watercolour rests.
His vision of New York, feels very similar to friend Cecil Beaton’s: stars in their eyes at the sky scrapers and glitz.
A detail of his last letter to Edith Oliver, you can picture him in the dying days of the WWII escaping a chill wind in exposed Northern France.
A detail from the centre piece of the exhibition, a series of 8 panels painted to be inserted in rococo frames for Mrs Porcelli in 1936 and part of private collections ever since. The landscape is emerald green to acqua, richly detailed and escapist.
After this it definitely felt like time for tea, and where better than Claridges especially at Christmas…
This of course leads us into the tree itself, decorated by fashionable florist this year rather than fashion folk (previous trees have been designed by Galliano when at Dior and Lanvin’s Alber Ebaz)
Magical isn’t it?
In this scene, Kally Ellis of Mcqueens florist sought to capture nostalgia of a traditional Christmas and the Claridges glamour. The tree is created with magnolia branches and hung with silver, white and emerald eggs. Hellebores glimpsing through the snow beneath exude the promise of Spring’s renewal to come. Anyway no rest for the rushed…
Quick sprint through VV Rouleaux’s garlands and ribbons where a Rococo-Rex moment caught my eye:
Time to fly to Pimlico Road, where a grotto chair or two glinted at me from a dusty corner – I desisted, with difficulty, but Irish husband will be pleased.
But I thought the ‘bottle painting’ might make an Irish husband smile, so that’s for under the tree.
And it will be great with the orange chair I snapped up at Chelsea Textiles sale:
Ssshh – foible to see paintings in this manner. Must study art more.
Finally I flew to to the airport – to fly home – and turn on the fairy lights. Here to contemplate the day’s wonders glass in hand.
Feeling a teeny bit Claridges in Dublin 6, which is never a bad thing.
Photos from London and Dublin December 2011, image from WOI from home collection.