Thursday, 27 March 2014

"Miss Alice in her palace" is a perfect English Fairy.

Fortnums, Selfridges and Harrods reminds me of my childhood. I remember the food halls, vast and stunningly arranged with towering flower arrangements. My grandmother had a saying "You can buy it anywhere, Fortnum's, Harrod's, Selfridge's anywhere" I have been fighting this inherited  DNA.  I used to dream of castles , I used to dream of being a Princess, I have done my best to achieve this childhood wish.  I used to sit at school thinking why on earth was I there?
From the barren land of the Wiltshire Downs to the wildness of London. Biba, Way in, I always loved clothes. At the time I could whip up a skirt in an afternoon, but there was nothing like Biba. I knew I had to leave the country from a young girl..
Although I was not rich, my grandmother was. Squirrel had so many pairs of shoes by Raynes. She loved them. Squirrel was a hoarder of food, unusual items, beautiful 1950's paintings and I remember the village tut tutting when she painted her bedroom gold and peach. Squirrel was born to a cabinet maker in Bath and with a talent for piano and a great pair of legs she married my Grandfather, son of the Editor of the Evening Standard , Sidney Gilliat, a writer, film producer, and director.  She gave 'salons' of culture and while she practised I lay under her piano. Squirrel supported the arts, The London Mozart players. The pair of them were obsessed by opera which my son Charles has inherited. My mother was an opera singer, but because of giving birth to me she taught in the local schools in Wiltshire.
I grew up being pushed in a pram.  My aunt and Mother saying "Marry a millionaire, fall in love with one though, never marry for money" I followed their direction.  I was ambitious, I did not have a full on father, he was busy writing at the Foreign desk of The Daily Mail.


Tonight I went to Fortnums,  to congratulate another friendly blogger Miss Alice in her Palace, Alice Naylor Leyland. She celebrates everything British, affordable and pretty.  Her ideas, her talent.  Alice, I have known since she was born. She popped out perfect. . She was of course a huge fan of mine. She chose me to be her godmother, despite her mother thinking I was totally unsuitable. Her mother Serena is perfect too, making stunning cuffs that can make any black dress look a little different. Talented in the home, she cooks delicious Christmas cakes in October and creates the number one roast chicken in the world. Some friends you just have to see, and thousands of memories flood back. Tonight I went back to my past. Everybody is pretty round Alice, there is Poppy, Mary, Chloe and co.  In the famous pale blue surroundings with large vases of blossom, all was so F and M tasteful. Afterwards there was a dinner at Annabels a wonderful club.  I swear you can smell the country air in the centre of London.

Yesterday I went to the best club in London. 5 Hertford Street. It is one of the most interesting night places in London. Robin Birley son of Mark Birley, has perfected the word "Class" The men are gorgeous, the girls are gorgeous.

I once shared the dark room with his wife Lucy, ex wife of Bryan Ferry. They also love whippets and lurchers, my favourite dogs. As a child I used to sleep with one every night.

I  enjoyed seeing  food in wicker baskets, marmite bottles with silver lids, stunning pots of real marmalade, where the doormen open doors for you in livery and in the middle of it all,  a perfect fairy, Miss Alice in her Palace.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

I LIKE TO GIVE AND TEST

I was always taught that
to give was to be good
I gave and people took
they did not love me
more, their grabbing ways
grabbing more and more,
became grabbing rather than
me giving.
I wanted to give with
love but soon I became
am accountant
but I wanted to be good
and to give
The giving  took over,
when I asked for things in
return
I was rudely thrown my keys
back in my face,
When I gave an idea away
a friend went to dinner
with some friends
and left me behind alone
to deal with my loneliness
I was told not to give
I was told it put pressure on
another person
I received hate mail
I was not longer loved
instead measured and deceived
as I gave.
So I put on my lipstick and some
dancing shoes
and walked into the sunshine of
my new life
shutting my purse tight
and smiled to myself with my new
found thoughts.
I shall not give
and give and give
and then hate.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

I LOVE EARLS COURT the building by C. Howard Crane.

Should people stay longer than they wish to, at anything nowadays, that is a question? I like my friends to be able to come and go at anything I do, be it film or art, or even a party.  I think then they are happy.

Anyway I am still saving or trying to save EARL's Court from destruction. I think differently about the site than the developer's or even the residences. I see no problem in re development of sites that are unattractive but do see a problem in destroying work of reputable architects. C.Howard Crane, built Detroit.  For very little money at the time, he built Earl's Court,  a conference centre, which has catered to over 40,000 people at a time for many years, feeding central London.  I would agree that the shops in the area and some of the buildings are not attractive. I can see that it is valuable land to build on, we are short of properties. However, to replace this would be a crying shame for all those living in the area.  Who would buy the properties, are there going to be charitable trusts to rehouse people, who cannot afford properties?. Will they go to original occupiers? Or, are they going to go to investors from abroad?
After all disruption will last for at least 15 years. We should know exactly what is going to happen with clarity and honesty and be part of the programme? I am a huge advocate of contemporary architecture when it is done well, I love it, and am not keen on Edwardian architecture, red brick and dull. However, some people are, and we should give them the respect, and help them fight. Some buildings should go, but not this one. Could we not keep the facade, working around a greater architect's previous work?
This painting done by Duggie Fields, artist and creator, has been fighting for months to save it. Please see the building with new eyes. It will have some tall building made of glass shortly if we do not fight to save it.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

MY UNIVERSE MOURNS TWO LOSSES

L'Wren Scott elegant, glamorous, towering over everybody. Talented yet clearly tormented by massive debts.  Hanging herself with a black silk scarf has definitely shocked the world of fashion and celebrity. There was talk of a rocky relationship with Mick and her stylish 2014 collection not being  shown in February as it was incomplete and late.  My thoughts are with her family and close friends at this time. I loved her long narrow dresses, difficult to wear, but they suited my image. They had a very structured feel to them. Uncomfortable but elegant, they probably reflected her character. With a pedigree of dressing Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, and designing for the film "Eyes wide shut" it looked like the world was her oyster. However, living a love story with a number one man on the planet, who is on tour, can't have been easy, and owing money to a bank a nightmare.  It is a sad day in the fashion industry, another imaginative designer lost.  May her soul rest in peace.



Clarissa Dickson Wright also dying yesterday was sad. I loved her duo on a bike, her love of fat, cream and wit. Her fast paced upper class speech was copied through my household. My family loved her, teasing ways. "Just add a lot of butter and everything will taste good". She did four series with BBC 2 with her partner, the late Jennifer Paterson. The non politically correct  attitude was appreciated throughout Great Britain as they took it by storm.
Rest in peace, they gave us, together, "such a jolly old time".
England at it's best.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

MY TEN FAVOURITE BEAUTY PRODUCTS

Generally I do not think about beauty products, I just go into my cupboard and grab what is there. The other day I was asked by Stephen Kamifuji from Genlux Magazine, where I work as Fashion Editor, my favourite beauty products. I found it difficult to answer. It is a fait accompli that I am in love with Dr Jean Louis Sebagh's products. After all I remain pretty loyal to my old boyfriends.  So I went to the cupboard and did a little test. I closed my eyes and from memory gently took ten items from it. These are what I naturally went for. No lies, just tried and tested products that I know work.

1. Dr Sebagh Supreme Neck Lift.
I suppose it is cream for the neck, but I use it everywhere, elbows, neck and face. Pale pink it smells delicious. I delve my fingers into the pot and spread it lavishly. If you cannot afford it never fear Jean Louis about twelve years ago worked on a brilliant cheaper range, called Meaningful Beauty with Cindy Crawford, super model and friend. I had a liaison with him for about 11 years and became as expert as you possibly can be when you are a girlfriend. He worked hard to find easy ways for men and woman to remain youthful.  Of course beauty was not for me long term, I am more interested in music art and theatre, but my love for this mans products remains undimmed.

2. Anti perpirant by Nivea, to stop perspiration.  I use this everywhere. I hate any form of perspiration, natural aromas, anything at all animal is a no no for me. 

3. Nivea Express Hydration I love using this  all over my body. Anywhere which feels dry.

4. I use Elemis Apricot soothing Toner, easy to use and also smells reasonably delicious.

5. Rose de Vie, a serum which is delicious, heals and replenishes dry skin, Good for anything depending on your pocket.

6. I love the Cowshed oils for relaxation in the bath or for sex, or for a present. The one I use most is  called the Horny Cow, seems appropriate. For a good smell in the house use Floris products, Stephanotis smells the whole house out.

7. Hand cream is essential over the age of 7.  I personally love the one by Library of flowers. Which claims it has seeds to feed the imagination.
My hands feel soft and supple.

8. The scent I love is by Hermes called Caleche, it smells of my mother, of Paris, of my love affairs. A time past. It feels ancient like the bottom of scented chest of drawers in a spare room.

9. The other scent I love is guaranteed to be asked about is Lime Basil and Mandarin by Jo Malone.  Men go wild about this smell so clean it guarantees a comment or two.

10. Hydrating cream masque by Caudalie. I went to stay in this spa once. I actually do not like spas but I was happy to try their products. I find spas generally depressing places.

Remember my age I will have dryer skin so perhaps be careful of the creams I choose. I need masses. Also  beauty comes from inside, a bit corny, but happiness shows on the face. Keep smiling.
Jean Louis has an incredible acne clearer too.. careful serums for bad skin, so every age has different recipes.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

My Baby Sleeping by Wendy Mayer and the virtues of real love by Andy Warhol.


I love Wendy Mayer's realistic work, she is an artist from Wales who received a first class degree, and it shows. Today I opened a parcel that arrived with a wonderful baby wrapped in a brown suitcase. Stunning, spookily real, I am happy.  I have a new piece of artwork. I first saw her work at The Saatchi Gallery in Kings Road and then was advised to buy it. I had a coup de foudre over this beautiful piece.
Spring is here, and the Magnolia trees are about to bloom all over Chelsea.
Stunning as I walked to the Serpentine Gallery with my friend Vince DeMaar an artist with a typically superior mind. I bought Catcher in the Rye and was told it was a depressing book, that  it would make me bitter. Never mind I shall read it. I then saw the Haim Steinbach show "Once again the World is Flat"
Ordinary objects turned to art.

I have talked non stop about the show despite not really liking it. Yet I did, he showed that ordinary is interesting. Ordinary objects make you think when made into art. I thought about the show all day and discussed it at length. 
I also am thinking about authentic love and whether it exists?
Discovering again what real love is.  I bought my second volume of Andy Warhol's book on Philosophy from A to B and Back Again. I opened it and the first page I see is, B "Is anybody who helps me kill time  and B is anybody because I can't be alone, Except when I am asleep, Then I can't be with anybody.

I glance up and see The Albert Hall and realised how unlucky Andy Warhol wa,s despite his fame and success he was lonely although he had acknowledgement. Queen Victoria as we all know found passion and love, and built from it, leaving grandeur so it was remembered. Her passion for Prince Albert is unsurpassed. 
I was told by an ex lover once that when I am in love I could swim the Atlantic, true. I once flew to Conneticut to see the love of my life, I just went on a whim. I did not know where I was going but landed in the right place. Was it love? It was sex mixed with passion and I had rose tinted glasses on.
"Should we walk? It's really beautiful out" B said No, and A said "Okay"  Andy Warhol.
Anyway it was a beautiful hot sunny day in rainy old England and I had a sleeveless dress on.
Now back to work on Pyxit.com my site that will keep memories everlasting and I can store the best of Andy Warhol.
This evening I discovered the work of Hugo Guinness and his wife Elliott Puckette at a private dinner.  I am sure everybody knows, but they were wonderful.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

PIZZA AND DIAMONDS

What is this need in people to be interested in fame?. Fame is not the same as a celebrity, a celebrity is not a star. The stars of their time will always be stars, look at Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner.
What is celebrity exactly? People are interested in other people, they need to know. The wish to dream away their lives through the whims of the rich and famous.
How much does happiness cost? It's the mistake everybody makes.. If you have to buy it, you don't want it. All you need is a ready smile and a pair on high heals, and the costume from The postman rings twice, You cannot travel to Heaven with it.
It does n't matter who you are but you know nowadays you are a Hollywood star when you are paid to wear the diamonds, yesterday I fell in love with an incredible diamond necklace in Van Cleef on North Rodeo Drive, in fact I fell in love with a lot of jewellery yesterday.  Simple and beautiful with  two clusters of flowers.  I loved them but if I have to buy them, then I am not a star, a wife or a mistress, and I intend to be all three. Jewellers have a charm that is hard to match, flowers come to the door, champagne comes with a letter. It is my first experience of this in Hollywood. I have bought five houses, received not even so much as a bouquet of flowers, so I know what it is all about, and I am happy to be warmed up. Charming chat is so much better.


I thought I was out of my depth until I realised Hollywood has depth in exactly the same way as the rest of the world. The reason I felt giddy was because I was standing on the top. The Hollywood sign is in the hills so nobody can reach it. If you are not like the people, hard, shiny and thin you won't get anywhere.. If you want to know what is it like being in Hollywood, just imagine being strapped on the top of a runaway lorry, fast exciting and nobody knows where it is going.
I like Shirley Temple's advice who said "Start early if you wish to get the achievement award"
and as we all knowI am not  old yet, that's months away but I would like an achievement award.
Let's be fair you pay me to wear the diamonds and I will get the pizza.

A real love story by Amanda Eliasch

Things flash by
Reminding me of you
A nose, a look,
You were the only person
I truly loved
The world goes round
I feel I am  
dazed
Men come and go
I smile, I nod,
I am polite
But do not care
I am dead
Dead to the world
Of romance
I move I shuffle
I apologize for still caring
You owe me nothing
And you love elsewhere
As you should
I would never wish
That I had not met you
One day on a sunny
Train
Although you have love
And obligations elsewhere
I try to find peace
I try to awake
Some feeling that is
Supposedly over
I need to be ravished under
The moon
But do not need the pain
With pleasure
It brings.
I remember the lanterns in
Paris streets,
Debussy and scented roses
A walk in a Prague
Street, cobbled and difficult
To walk on.
The ritual of tea
The delicate china
Gently brewed
The hairpins,
A pink purse depicting a hare
The forgiveness of
A green apple
A wooden leg
Flying through the sky
With fairy wings.
You do not care
N’or do I want you to care
Yet I do.
I rush forward into a bed of nettles
I want to die
Once you said to me
“If you can’t be happy, nobody
can” I was not happy
except in the unwanted arms
of someone I loved
It is difficult without.
Seeing you.
A glimpse
Here, and there.
Awakens an obsession
But it
Has to be enough
And it is
Sometimes I would rather
You did not see me.
Time is cruel
It shows in my eyes not my
Face.
I wish you
Well
I wish I did not need to
Write
It seems to be utterly
Useless to forget
The the magical cure
Of lovemaking
With no caution
That will not escape my
Lips.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

"Heaven is a place on earth" Belinda Carlisle, and it is.

My friends in London wonder why I love Los Angeles. Well, simply it is because on Sunday morning, with ten inches of rain, enough to drown a Barbie doll, during  Oscar Weekend, you can still feel the sunshine, and the celebrities flashing their whiter than white smiles down Hollywood Boulevard.

 Doors willingly open to almost any new idea, and that makes even the gloomiest person feel happy.
The other thing is, there is a spiritual awakening here, that the British ignore. They have within them a natural cynicism. The intellectuals just can't help it. Wit and argument is in the back bone of Great Britain. The controversial literature and art of Oscar Wilde, Saatchi, Shakespeare, Julie Burchill and Coward are deeply incased in the British soul.  They are proud to be loathed and admired.


Here in LALA it is all blue skies again and "gosh I feel good".  I went for a Kundalini Class at the Golden Bridge Centre in Hollywood yesterday and felt better than I have ever. Under the guidance of an old friend Normandie Keith, who is "merry sunshine". Normandie encouraged us to shake, bend and chant. Led by my other great pal, who is almost family, Belinda Carlisle, our class was startling.  The energy took me to another dimension, this was as Belinda rightly sang, a long time ago, "Heaven is a place on earth," Happiness is within us.
We just have to breath, move, sing and shake to find it.
Here we are all together celebrating living.

Here Normandie teaches a true mixture of women, uniting them. She has something that is unique.  Where do you find a pop star willing to share their time freely with you? There was Belinda happily teaching us the mantra, the 84 meridians in your mouth have to be massaged so words need to be pronounced correctly?.
Cheerfully and lovingly she took us through each step.
I have been on many trips with Belinda in my "up to no good days", and now to another level of consciousness  which is well worth attaining.  A fabulous duo!.
I have been practising yoga since 1992, when I suffered from terrible depression and could not get out of bed.  Yoga, not pills, or a man, or another person,  or medication, saved my life. It still does.  Kundalini is magical, simple and clever, I had spring in my step as I left this exotic centre. Thank you girls.
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Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Fame, money, and a little gold statue do not give you good manners with my new website Pyxit.com, hopefully you will treasure memories of the talented.

Thank goodness for the parties, this year at the Oscars. Thank goodness for the tact and grace of Elton John, David Furnish and Graydon Carter. Perhaps they should all introduce the stars in future?. They know how to be charming whilst making everyone understand the importance of charity.  Graydon, who knows very well how to put a good magazine together, give great events, he also knows also how to stop gaffs.

I was lucky enough to go to both of the above. An Oscar should be given to the party decorators who pulled off a coup. Black silk swathed the walls of Elton's with red roses in perspex boxes and white carpets instead of red. Vanity used the colour mushroom to good effect which made all the dresses stand out especially  Poppy Delevingne who looked ravishing in black lace.


 A good sense of humour makes us sail through life when we are hit with sarcasm,  the lowest form of wit.  Humour is needed when manners that maketh man" as  the saying goes, are not mixed with kindness and respect which truly goes a long way. We have to laugh at ourselves. Ellen D did a great job trying to jolly the whole thing along but it is tricky when egos are fragile in show business not to make the  odd boo boo.
I loved the Oscars but when Pink was asked to sing instead of the talented daughters of the Judy Garland, Liza and Lorna, I knew that the world is a very forgetful place.  Pink was good, but Lorna and Liza have heritage and are loved.  Liza was insulted and this is truly unkind.  The Academy gave with one hand and took with the other. Imagine Liza all excited beforehand and going home and grabbing ten ambient to sleep it all off.   I first remember Liza Minnelli in Cabaret, and I copied her panache for many years. I loved her green vibrant nails. She flashed them  saying "Divine decadence" I might start wearing the green again in memory of this wonderful actress. "Money makes the world go round" and a smile gets you everywhere in this cinematic Hollywood world.
LIZA MINELLI GOOD ENOUGH FOR LONDON BUT NOT FOR THE OSCARS?

Come on if you have not seen either Vertigo or Cabaret, watch them now. Vertigo was so much better than any film made this year, Cabaret too. At 80 Kim looked well.  A little respect for this brilliant actress is needed.

Concetta and Pascal Vicedomini, who hosted the Italian Film Festival in Los Angeles, and Amanda Eliasch at THE VANITY FAIR PARTY



We all will age, have dramas which will effect each and everyone of us. Of course there were funny moments, The Pizza delivery boy, harmless and funny, and clearly the nominees were very hungry.The press are busy nagging John Travolta, but he has made the girl truly famous. Idina Menzel will not be forgotten. If this had been in England at the BAFTA's we would have been very snobby. We would not want to get our hands grubby as the world watched. Hotdogs, burgers and Pizzas are accepted over here.
Kim is one of the most talented actresses of our time, and I hope Jennifer Lawrence, manages to look as stunning as she did on the red carpet at the Vanity Fair party, when she passes 75.


The best thing for me in the evening was following my Mother's advice and talking to the quiet man in the corner who looked shy and adorable, a bit pissed off, his name was something like Harold, Gail or was it Harry. Anyway he nicely rounded off my evening as I galloped towards the witty and amusing  Nicky Haslam, and one his entourage, wearing a white Chanel dress she looked enchanting with wings on.
GETTING READY


Nicky Haslam and  I at North Harper.

AMANDA ELIASCH WITH GIA SINATRA AND ANGELA KALINOWSKI Californian Beauty.com


A dress has to look good for 7 hours sitting down our souls too. My beautiful Roberto Cavalli dress looked like a rag at the end of the evening.