Archives for December 2009

December 30, 2009 - 8 comments

And the winners are…..


A  list of my favourite fashion and film happenings this year...

1. A marriage made in heaven.....Chanel Couture for the English National Ballet

Chanel couture ballet

2.Vionnet Exhibition at the Musee des Arts Decoratives, Paris

Vionnet small 

3.  Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy...Couture Fall 2009


4. Book:  Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out

Isabel toledo

5. The restored version of   The Red Shoes

Red shoes

6.  Giambattista Valli Pre Fall 2009... very few times does a pre-season outstage Ready to Wear or Couture collections

Giambatista valli pre fall2009

7. Alexander McQueen SS2010 show in October ( probably not very objective as I was there..) But I think he deserves to be on this list  first and foremost for pushing the bounderies in an industry where the unconventional borderlines the absurd (and yes his accessories are not for everyone but he is a master tailor and an incredibly gifted designer)..and secondly for trying to democratise the fashion world by broadcasting his show live via the internet ( even though Lady Gaga stole his thunder...)  

8. Tim Ryan. Simply because he is one of the most talented current Irish designers.

Tim ryan 2 

9. The original English version of  The Women (I had only seen it dubbed in Spanish) with  Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard and Joan Fontaine 

The women

December 20, 2009 - 10 comments

Being tagged

To be noticed (tagged) by The Errant Aesthete is an unbelievable honour.  It has become my daily read and is a source of infinite inspiration....

In such a short time (my blogging life is barely 3 months) The  Errant Aesthete has become very close to my heart and despite its mysterious author.... she seems strangely familiar

To attempt writing this post after she produced such a wonderful piece, has proven to be an extremely hard act to follow....

Constance Talmadge

How tagging works.....when you are tagged by a fellow blogger you must write ten things about yourself and then to continue the tradition you must tag seven blogs.

So here it goes....

I've always thought that my life and existence have danced between the ordinary and extraordinary.

 At an early age my parents were called into school because my teacher considered my imagination to be a worrying matter.

When stories and facts were compared.... the apparent exaggerated imagination was  simply a glimpse of my reality.....

Desk with mask

1. By the age of thirteen I had been to thirteen schools and lived in thirteen countries.

2. My nomadic upbringing always made me feel like a 'unique' outsider. I never felt I  belonged anywhere until I moved to Ireland 9 years ago

3. You are most likely to find me at the beach in Winter.


4. At a Royal Palace, the 'Host' kindly gave me  (under the table) her portion of chocolate truffles and whispered a secret about another  Queen.

5.  2008 was an  'annus horribilis'.  I'm still physically and mentally on my way to recovery.

6. Of all the countries that I have lived in, Japan has had the strongest inlfuence in my life


7. In the late 80's I danced all night with Prince...I never new why I was his dance partner of choice... but I suspect it was because I made him look towering tall ...

8.When I grow up... I want to be a photographer.

9. I have never let fear hold me back....I would rather try and fail, than not try at all...

10. My biggest complex is, and always has been, communication...this blog was meant to be a 'silent' photographic journal....I'm slowly confronting my biggest fear.......writing in English...


So now you are tagged












December 14, 2009 - 6 comments

The Life of Yarn

When I moved back to  Ireland in 2001, I was determined to learn local craft traditions.

In my quest, I discovered that my Aunt Patricia had a 30 year old knitting machine, which miraculously survived Kerry's seaside humid and salty air.

She kindly gave me the tattered machine and my other half patiently cleaned and repaired each tiny piece, making the machine work again....and has been, continuously, since...


This weekend I gave it it's last job for 2009


using wonderful Italian cashmere

knitting and hand linking

Close up_MG_7526 

the last accessories of the year

...made by 'yours truly' and her, almost 40year old, knitting machine



December 11, 2009 - 4 comments

Musing on muses


Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne, John Keats muse, in Brighstar




  1. Greek Mythology. Any of the nine daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus, each of whom presided over a different art or science.
  2. muse

    1. A guiding spirit.
    2. A source of inspiration.
  3. muse A poet.

December 11, 2009 - Comments Off on Dante


Dante gabriel rossetti 

'O Muses, O high genius, aid me now!

O memory that engraved the things I saw,

Here shall your worth be manifest to all!'



December 9, 2009 - 6 comments

Nomenus Quarterly

Dries van Noten

Erik Madigan Heck/Nomenus Quarterly

A few days ago I came across an online magazine which blew me away. It doesn't happen often as magazines are usually constrained by commercial obligations or trying to be edgy with shock factor.

I'm not interested in either so it leaves me usually in limbo when it comes to fashion and photography coverage.

When I started researching, what I thought was, my 'discovery' I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of it before...

Featured in The New York Times and many other publications, this magazine founded in 2007 by an incredibly young and gifted photographer Erik Madigan Heck is available quarterly online and a very limited edition goes to print (10 to 50 copies). 

Many of my silent readers are fairly new to this blogging Universe..(including me)...and may not have experienced if you have a few minutes to spare ... indulge yourself in this wonderful magazine...Nomenus Quarterly

There are treasures in the archive...including beautiful illustrations of Giambatista Valli's work by Catherine Stuart .. ( this is probably my favourite)

For a full interview with Erik Madigan Heck go to Coolhunting

December 8, 2009 - Comments Off on To Be or Not to Be…. Couture?

To Be or Not to Be…. Couture?

Lacroix Autumn Winter 2009

For a long time I've wanted to raise the issue of the use and misuse of the word Couture.

Everything seems to be Couture today. High street t-shirts covered in glitter, fake snake skin shoes,  and even oversized gaudy costume jewellery.

It's like a's added to describe anything and everything, making it's definition confusing and misleading

This is not Couture and definitely not Haute Couture

Haute couture refers to the creation of exclusive clothing, made to order for a specific customer, and is  made from high-quality fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish.

Lacroix 4

"In France, the term Haute Couture is protected by law.

To earn the right to call itself a couture  house, members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture must follow these rules:

  • Design made-to-order for private clients, with one or more fittings.
  • Have a workshop (atelier) in Paris that employs at least fifteen people full-time.
  • Each season (i.e., twice a year), present a collection to the Paris press, comprising at least thirty-five runs/exits with outfits for both daytime wear and evening wear. "

Not everyone can work from Paris, nor have 15 employees. But this should set a standard for its definition and use.

Shouldn't the term Couture - Haute Couture be protected by law, worldwide?

I think it should......