As wonderful as summer holidays are, they leave me in a bit of a flap. Summer dresses and flips flops seem to addle my brain at some level and as I’ve come back to London, Gus back to school, colder clime and back to work I’ve found myself floundering…
What am I doing, what’s my look, where’s my sense of aesthetic gone? It all reached a boiling point this weekend where I ended up doing a massive rearrange of the kitchen, bathroom clearout and more importantly (although I didn’t realise this at first!) both those things in my office. Switching the wall my desk is at has changed everything and allowed for a fantastically clear work re-focus, sense of purpose and direction.
As have a few strong key things in my life this week. From the perfect but new look handbag, no messing around monochrome autumn appropriate shoes and a very strong home re-focus, making use of the space and tables top in the right way and fitting in health and rest. So let’s begin…
You well know by now my weakness when it comes to tan bags. I have too many, it’s true. But I was so completely struck by the designs of new Italian designer Nico Giani – inspired by 50s & 60s interior design, just so beautifully confident in shape and functionality. The fittings are exquisite, the protected leather so reassuring for a London autumn, the way they sit cross-body so chirpily. And perfectly in my bag price bracket – i.e. what I think is the ‘right’ amount to spend on a bag. Weird that we make these parameters for ourselves? Perhaps.
Bag | Giani Nico
So the circular bag I’ve seen before and haven’t been entirely convinced. But this one, yes, absolutely. (Pop over to my Stories to see on!) I also think the mini bucket and larger box bag (camera bag perfection!) are just as successful, and are lined up for next purchases this autumn. They each have their own personality and obvious moment to wear. Love love love!
So shoes that are just a little bit more – I’m going to refrain from ‘shoot’ or shoe boot, but you know what I mean. A little extra foot coverage for the colder weather and actually roomy enough for a sock or tight. It didn’t occur to me that monochrome was what I wanted or needed for this autumn but spying these on the Finery site, it was immediately clear. I am toying with red too, total impulse buying the new Whistles x By Far slingbacks on Friday night phone purchase, gulp. But strong white & black and a red against denim makes getting dressed easy.
Shoes* | Finery
As does the beautifully put together just out ‘Know Your Style’ by the lovely Alyson Walsh of That’s Not My Age. A wonderful collection of interviews with female creatives from fashion designers to architects and museum curators with a focus on figuring out what suits you, taking control of an unruly wardrobe, curating a pulled together look and introducing a little ‘spezzato’ – gently juxtaposing contrasting items – into your life, which the Italian half of me totally gets! Congrats Alyson, gorgeous pages!
Book | Know Your Style
Not that I partied my way through the summer months by any means. But I did find myself routinely slipping whole-heartedly into a glass of red wine and nibbling on crisps and olives pre-supper every day. So with a view to breaking that habit, (I never like to be too predictable!) I’ve been upping the ante on non-alcoholic drinks with a foray into non-alcoholic gin by Seedlip.
A distillation of herbs – sugar & sweetener free, zero calories – so like a non-alcoholic gin! Which can be made into a pleasing little G&T type drink with tonic water, garnishes and ice (you’ll find Seedlips in Soho House and London’s The Clove Club) and goes just as well with the olives come six o’clock,! To ensure post supper I’ve digested well, I love a mint tea. Rather than the regular bags, and since my efforts to grow peppermint in the garden have spectacularly failed, I’ve turned to lovely dried mint by Jing Tea, popping the mint in a tea strainer/maker while my husband who is well up on his camomile tea at the moment is making a whole pot of camomile flowers before bed now too!
Non alcoholic drink | Seedlip
Tea | Jing Tea
And all the more beautifully to make it, a hob kettle by Nambé. Quite exquisite in its looks and actually I kind of the like the extra time it takes to boil. There’s something of the ritual in it, plus, you know, it’s looks beautiful. Bella figura as the Italians would say, although I’m not sure that it’s meant for kettles! They would approve of the hob kettle though as I’ve yet to meet an Italian who owns an electric kettle, a teenage Italian boyfriend of mine chortling at my electric one so many years ago.
Kettle | Nambé
Mug | Wedgwood
And of course, what better to drink it in that the finest bone china. I can get enough of the beautiful Daisy Tea Story pattern by Wedgwood, so evocative of the Art Deco era.
There is a lovely trend at the moment for candles which evoke scents of the outdoors and the forest. Launching soon is this gorgeous English Oak & Redcurrant candle by Jo Malone. I have a bit of soft spot for Jo Malone as it’s a favourite with both my mother and sister and having smelt this – now on my newly reorganised desk (check my Insta stories!) – I’m completely hooked. The visuals on the website for the new collection are also really sumptuous and beautiful, go take a look!
I also wanted to mention that lovely clothes brand Kitri (the corner of their little china tray above!) has opened a gorgeous pop up on 35 Thayer Street in Marylebone. Bright colours, polka dots and bold styles, all perfect for putting together a really strong look! Hurrah!
Candle | Jo Malone (coming soon!)
China dish | Kitri
And finally, the quite exquisite necklace you see – by Nocturne Studio, based in De Beauvoir Town by the canal but with Oriental influences with a great deal of care and beauty put into their jewellery creations. Not my usual day to day look, which I prefer to be much less obvious but an incredible statement piece if you want to make sure you’re noticed at a wedding, party or fashion week. I wore this recently with a lovely geometric print by Riachi Studio.
Necklace | Nocturne Studio
Photography on Olympus Pen F