Month: April 2014

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New restaurant Lyle's opens in Shoreditch's Tea Building

James Lowe (formerly one of the Young Turks, a supperclub in London) has set up his first restaurant in Shoreditch’s Tea Building, which already houses the popular Pizza East. Designed by B3 Designers, Lyle’s reflects the era of the Tea Building, with a strong reference to British manufacturing and design from the mid-20th century (The eight-storey Tea Building on the junction of Shoreditch High Street and Bethnal Green Road was initially built as a bacon factory for the Lipton brand). Reclaimed Ercol stick back chairs have been used for example, as well as large grey industrial lights and oak joinery. Housed on the ground floor of the building, the restaurant, which takes its name from James’s mother’s maiden name, has a similar aesthetic to the St John’s restaurants (incidentally James was head chef there for a while), with lots of natural light, white tiles, painted brick, factory-paned windows and a poured concrete floor. The menu looks equally enticing, with coffee (Belleville from Paris and Koppi from Sweden) and baked goods for breakfast, and a lunch …

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New clothing brand Trademark's Spring 2014 lookbook

Trademark is a new American sportswear brand based in New York City and set up by sisters Alexandra and Louisa Burch (daughters of fashion entrepreneur Chris Burch and step-daughters to fashion designer Tory Burch). They call Trademark ‘the blocks on which to build a wardrobe’, and sell a selection of minimal separates in bold colours, inspired by artists Josef Albers and Donald Judd. From this Spring collection I love the sandals and slides as well as the see-through bags. Don’t forget to check out their website here, they also have a flagship store in New York. Images: Trademark

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The Balcony Gardener & The House Gardener: creative ideas for small spaces

I have never thought myself as particularly lucky, but a Grand National win later, and a competition on The Lifestyle Editor, and I think the tide could possibly be changing. The prize for the latter was a book by small-space gardening expert Isabelle Palmer called The House Gardener. Now that it’s a bit warmer outside I have been itching to get my small balcony in order and transform it into a little urban oasis. I have also been watching with a keen eye as my succulents and orchids grow little by little on my bedroom windowsill. The House Gardener has more than 60 ideas, from Victorian style terrariums to cosy fireplaces, and even the ingenious idea of using old lightbulbs as small plant containers, providing me with some much-needed creative inspiration. After a brief look, I was onto Amazon to buy Isabelle’s first book, The Balcony Gardener, which has some interesting DIY projects, for example turning an old wine crate into a planter, as well as more practical information, such as how to grow vegetables in a small space. And now …

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Maison du Brasil, Paris by Le Corbusier

When I was in Paris last weekend I visited Maison du Bresil, a building in the City Universitaire complex in Paris, designed by Le Corbusier and Lucio Costa. Built in 1957, the hall of residence was created to house Brazilian students and promote Brazilian life and culture. Initially plans were drawn up by Costa, before Le Corbusier came on board and changed the design beyond recognition– although the major forms remained the same, it was enough for Costa to remove himself from the project. The building, much like Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation in Marseilles, is made of concrete with accents of bright primary colours in the balconies. The five storey building is lifted on concrete columns to provide space for a theatre, exhibition space and reception. Although we couldn’t go inside the rooms, you can pay €1 to see a small exhibition and walk around the ground floor space.        Images my own For more information, see the Maison du Bresil website here. Maison du Bresil, 7 L. boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris Everyday from 10am …

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Travel: Paris for Easter

So a week overdue, but here, finally, are my photos from my weekend in Paris for Easter! We had a lovely weekend from Friday to Monday, starting off with a trip to the much-recommended Dries Van Noten exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs, which focused as much on the Belgian fashion designer’s clothes as on his wide range of inspirations, from David Bowie and Boy George to the military  and the English royal family. Next stop was Telescope cafe on Rue Villedo (shown below) for a welcome caffeine fix as well as a wander around Saint Paul Village– a lovely warren of antique and bric-a-brac shops. Saturday we went to the countryside and managed to sneak in two lunches in the sunshine, while on Monday we paid a visit to Le Corbusier’s Maison de Bresil (more on that later). The weekend ended perfectly with a trip to the Luxembourg gardens to watch people playing with the boats and admire the brightly coloured spring blooms. Exploring Village Saint Paul and making some friends Telescope cafe- fantastic coffee …

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Petit Bateau x Satu Maaranen

For those who know me well, you will know I have an (un)healthy obsession with Breton stripes (in all shapes, forms and colours). I live in stripes almost everyday, so when I saw this new collection from my favourite French brand Petit Bateau, I knew I had to share it. Petit Bateau has collaborated with Hyères festival 2013 winner Satu Maaranen, an up and coming designer from Finland, who has previously worked with another of my favourites, Marimekko. The small but perfectly formed collection only features nine pieces, adorned with squiggles of painterly stripes, and there are mini-me outfits for little ones. Also, be sure to watch this film of the collection on Nowness here.   Images: Arnaud Lajeunie Pre-order one of 50 limited-edition marinières exclusively via Petit Bateau stores in USA, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Belgium and Japan stores with free postage and packing.

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this Easter weekend

Here’s my pick of three things to do this Easter weekend, from the fab Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern to Richard Mosse’s amazing photographs, and a helping of food and drink courtesy of Fairground in east London. STOP What: Matisse Cut-Outs Where: Tate Modern, London When: Until September 7 In my opinion, this is THE exhibition of the summer, I haven’t seen it yet, but I can’t wait. This landmark show explores the final chapter of Matisse’s career in which he began ‘carving into colour’ and created his series of spectacular cut-outs, such as The Snail (which is apparently still the most popular piece of art in Tate Modern). The exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see so many of the artist’s works in one place and discover Matisse’s final artistic triumph. Image above: Henri Matisse, The Sheaf 1953. Collection University of California, Los Angeles. Hammer Museum © Succession Henri Matisse / DACS 2013 LOOK What: Richard Mosse- The Enclave Where: The Vinyl Factory Space, London When: Until April 26 The Vinyl Factory Space presents …

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Stop Look Listen: Three things to do this Easter weekend

Here’s my pick of three things to do this Easter weekend, from the fab Matisse exhibition at the Tate Modern to Richard Mosse’s amazing photographs, and a helping of food and drink courtesy of Fairground in east London. STOP What: Matisse Cut-Outs Where: Tate Modern, London When: Until September 7 In my opinion, this is THE exhibition of the summer, I haven’t seen it yet, but I can’t wait. This landmark show explores the final chapter of Matisse’s career in which he began ‘carving into colour’ and created his series of spectacular cut-outs, such as The Snail (which is apparently still the most popular piece of art in Tate Modern). The exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see so many of the artist’s works in one place and discover Matisse’s final artistic triumph. Image above: Henri Matisse, The Sheaf 1953. Collection University of California, Los Angeles. Hammer Museum © Succession Henri Matisse / DACS 2013 LOOK What: Richard Mosse- The Enclave Where: The Vinyl Factory Space, London When: Until April 26 The Vinyl Factory Space presents …

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Roly Poly by Faye Toogood

British designer Faye Toogood unveiled a new furniture collection at Milan Design Week last week. The Roly Poly collection features plump dish shaped seats and smooth round tables, set on chunky legs and all made in fibreglass for strength and durability. Toogood references the ‘comforting dairy hues of mid-century Bakelite’, but they remind me of small moulded plastic chairs from my childhood. She says: Chairs, tables and daybeds acquire a rounded, welcoming chunkiness, with wide legs and gently linear forms, while the popular Elements Table is reinterpreted as a ludic interplay of voids and feminine curves. Each of the new pieces has been developed as a clay maquette before being rendered in layered fibreglass, chosen as a medium for its tensile strength and sculptural qualities. Surfaces are polished smooth in places, left raw and untreated in others; the resultant textural dialogue is carried across into hand-woven yarn throws and the graphic, contoured Play tapestry – an abstract image derived from an infant’s building blocks. Images: Faye Toogood

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I wish I lived here: a home with vintage touches

This week, this lovely light home, in the district of Masthugget in Gothenburg, caught my eye on the website of one of my favourite Scandinavian estate agents, Stadshem. I love the contrast of the rusty brown furniture against the plain white walls- it has the perfect mixture of old and new. And those white tiles with grey grout- the Scandinavians just do it so well! Images: Stadshem