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perfect pieces

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Here’s my piece on talented cellist turned musician Anna Hu – she set a world record at Christies when she sold her Orpheus ring at Christies in Hong Kong earlier this year………

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btw.. here’s something I never thought I’d publish on my blog; pics of You Know Who, wearing Anna  to the Met Ball..

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Made the very excellent Business of Fashion newsletter today with my piece from yesterdays WSJ on Uniqlo….

Great company. I love their approach of listening to both the customer and their on floor sales teams, so that they can really supply what the customer wants. They own their supply chain too which is also something Frida Giannini of Gucci said was essential to a great fashion business when I interviewed her. Three best Uniqlo pieces this season:

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women’s engineer boatneck t £14.90

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women’s skinny fit cargo pants £19.90 on the website

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and my favourite which I’m considering buying for myself – the men’s biker jacket £59.90

in my WSJ column I discussed a MAWD (middle aged woman’s dilemma) – many more to follow. This one was about wearing shorts.Oh yes we can. But maybe not like these at Balenciaga…..?

or these at Jil Sander…?

Jil Sander courtesy of Style.com

thinking more along the lines of these……?

or even more realistically….from www.net-a-porter.com

Diane von Furstenburg shorts £270

In Norfolk where I was born they do things differently…..

which is not to say that it’s not lovely… because it is.. particularly if it’s my sister and her architect boyfriend’s home….

the perfect kitchen….note the Aga..

and I promise you she didn’t style anything.. this is how she lives…really..

this fire is fantastic, chic, efficient and it smoulders all night,,,

and they still have a milkman… you know one of those men (or women) who delivers the daily pint? Note the location of the milk crate…

Very House and Garden…..

The phrase ‘Normal for Norfolk’ came about because Norfolk (for those of you who are not English) is somewhat cut off from the rest of the country and has its very own peculiarities.. which sometimes includes the people, Alan Partridge not being the best (but certainly being the funniest example)…..I'm Alan Partridge

So really, if you haven’t been then visit Norfolk….Nelson, Delia and Alan can’t be wrong…

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Norfolk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

i love Pippa Small’s designs. She’s an anthropologist who works with indigenous tribes to create sustainable resources for her jewellery. Her store in Notting Hill is evocative of her entire approach…

everything is really well showcased..those are my earrings in the left hand corner or they would be if I had the odd spare 4k lying around..

love that charm bracelet at the top..

gorgeous pendants/amulets

meanwhile… at Granger & Co, the Aussie Cafe in Notting Hill, what feels like a small slice of Sydney..

Good Jasmine tea… 7/10

great flowers….

and on the topic great of jewellery,  here’s my friend Helena’s ‘push present’ – a gift from her husband Tom on the birth of one of her children….it’s from Tiffany, though it looks vintage -no?

Discussing Anna Valentine’s new collection with her at her gorgeous atelier in Marylebone

These are some of her existing pieces…

I will blog the collection coming together, the shows are next Tuesday…

meanwhile, talking shop (fashion and beauty) at the Riding House Cafe with my friend and all round uber zen chick Julietta Dexter…they serve beautiful Jasmine tea (you may have noticed I’m conducting a survey into who serves the best….)

I bought Marni… had to queue for the WEBSITE EVEN!!!

bought this top…. (and other stuff)… stuff selling out before you could get it into the basket. Wow.

Several of you have commented that  it’s nothing short of a miracle that this blog has been going for some months without so much as a mention of the ‘thing’ that has sustained me (mind and body) for the last 13 years or so. No not that. Yoga.

When I co-founded triyoga over a decade ago, very few people in London were into yoga. One of the other founders Jonathan Sattin thought we should try to give yoga a different spin over here a la the USA and together with Simon Low and marketing brain Ford Ennals that’s what we did.

Now triyoga is the largest yoga centre in Europe, Sattin has opened 3 other centres and Simon Low is teaching all over the world. Me, I do my own practice and lately have done something I swore I’d never do -i’ve come over all ‘Bikram’ (that’s not me below, but it is ‘the man’….and of course,  nobody stands on anybody in Primrose Hill…

Bikram Yoga - with Bikram Choudhury

Bikram Yoga - with Bikram Choudhury (Photo credit: tiarescott)

Why study an offshoot practice that has made one man very wealthy?  As a lapsed catholic I’m familiar with that concept. Lets just say I got bored with my own practice and when I go to triyoga in Primrose Hill I notice all the things that need re-doing and – frankly- after 13 years of Hatha yoga, I was curious.  The first thing to know about Bikram though is (without prejudice) it’s not really yoga. It’s a set of yoga inspired postures, which held for a long time in the considerable heat, have the effect of raising your heart rate and making you rather bendy. They say anyone can do yoga (I don’t agree with that) but truly anyone with a couple of modifications can do Bikram. Think of it as a 90 minute trip to Delhi wherein you touch down, get off the plane and onto the tarmac and do lots of stretches amongst a group of scantily dressed ‘others’ in various stages and shapes of fitness and then go home and take a shower. I like Bikram Primrose Hill not just because it’s on my doorstep but because its clean and it doesn’t smell that bad. I’ve smelt some Bikram studios in my time (New York and San Francisco predominantly) and well lets just say this is a great improvement. Plus the teaching is good. Really good. There’s a nice Welsh lady who makes you feel like you are in an overheated and prolonged episode of Gavin and Stacey and a small feisty teacher called Sintra who spouts nothing but good sense ‘yoga is not about learning to stand on your head it’s about learning to stand on your own two feet’. So there you have it.Try it

I’m including this pre-class pic which I wouldn’t normally do – but I’m pretty sure you can’t make out anyones face here…

The other thing I wanted to mention is my new favourite place Cafe Lanka. Its in Primrose Hill too. It’s  run by Japanese Chef Masayuki Hara who specializes in British/French food. Delicious cakes, amazing coffee apparently (I don’t drink it but all of my friends do). The Jasmine tea is divine…

Great service and you can poke your nose into the kitchen and talk to ‘chef’ – that is if he hasn’t come out to check whether or not you are having a good time. He cooks everything in this tiny kitchen.

 

Namaste…..xx

This is the first in a series of ‘perfect pieces’ – funny how most of my friends seem to own the things I ‘really need’ in my wardrobe. Am longing to have a jumble sale (designer and otherwise) of stuff I just don’t want and start to de-clutter my life… It’s a conversation I’ve been having with lots of women recently. Seems everyone is thinking the same thing. In any case, my friend perfumer Lyn Harris, of Miller Harris always looks chic. Here’s what she was wearing during our breakfast the other day that I coveted….

There is really only one trainer to buy, so you can chuck out the others…

martin margiela trainers

Everyone needs a Pea Coat in their wardrobe whether its from M&S or by rock chick designer Isabel Marant….

Isabel Marant Pea Coat

another view of the Pea coat...

Last but not least… a beautiful, practical, perfect sized Margiela bag..