Thursday, 7 July 2011

Althorp & Oxford.

I have had a lovely couple of days this week, beginning with a trip to Althorp - Princess Diana's childhood home - and ending today in Oxford with my parents. 
Althorp was absolutley beautiful. It was so fascinating to have a snoop around the house, which Earl Spencer and his family still live in 10 months out of the year - its so easy to forget that! But as you wander around the grand hallways and incredibly lavish bedrooms, you can spot intimate family photographs, bottles of water and towels for guests in the bedroom, and board games left on the side in their billiards room! Its strange also to think that Diana lived and grew up there. As well as looking around the house, we also took a walk down to the Oval lake, where Princess Diana is buried - its such a peaceful place and a truly beautiful setting, that there isn't really a better place for her to be. There is a memorial there for her, which you can see in the picture above. It was her 50th birthday a couple of days ago, so there were lots of flowers around that had been left by visitors and of course family. Perhaps the best part for me was the Diana exhibition, where not only her dresses that she wore throughout her time as Princess were on full display, but also, her Wedding Dress! As soon as I walked in, it was right there - it was so surreal! Now admittedly I have never been too keen on Diana's wedding dress, but for all the criteria out there, let me tell you that up close, it really is stunning. All of the small, intricate details of the dress make it something to see, and are the reasons why it will always be one of the most iconic dresses of all time. I only wish I could've taken photos! 

Today, I spent the day in Oxford - I have never been before, so I was really looking forward to going and comparing it to Cambridge! It's such a lovely little town, with the most amazing buildings - the people who attend university there are very lucky indeed! 
The weather has been a bit touch and go the past few days, and today they forecast rain, so I was half expecting to spend the day in a cafe somewhere, admiring the view fro inside! But thankfully, the rain held of, and we were able to walk and walk! Which was great, expect I stupidly chose to wear new shoes for the occasion - huge mistake! Hello blisters...
All day I was pestering my parents for tea and cake - I just couldn't leave without going to one of their lovely cafe's. So, we chose to try out 'The Grand Cafe', which just so happens to be the first cafe opened in England! We opted for tea & scones, and I can safely say that they were absolutely delicious! In fact, the tea was the brew I've had in a long time. 

I went for the ladylike look, and wore my favourite peter pan collar blouse, bought from ASOS, and my polka dot skirt (the charity shop find that I blogged about a few weeks ago! Here is its first proper outing!), and my new shoes from Office (note to self: don't wear new shoes, when lots of walking is required! Lesson learned.)


And here are a couple of my little purchases from today - not much, but I am pretty pleased with them! On the left is a selection of vintage postcards, featuring old advertisements, and on the right, a Cath Kidston scented sachet for my wardrobe. 

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Couture: Dior

So this week saw the return of Couture, and yesterday, the most eagerly anticipated show took place in Paris- Dior. Since his dismissal from his chief post at the French fashion house, John Galliano has regularly been seen in the news, particularly last week when court proceedings began about the incident that happened earlier this year. Meaning, this was the first Couture show without Galliano's involvement, leaving his right hand man, Bill Gaytten to take the helm (temporarily). Of course, the pressure on him to deliver was enormous, and he has come under scrutiny by some of fashions renowned journalists including Susie Menkes. And granted, Galliano's 'touch' was clearly missing, and if I am totally honest, the middle set of looks that came down the runway seemed to be slightly 'off'. Having said that, the beginning and ends showed great 
promise, and were really in touch with previous collections.  
The inspirations for this collection, as described by were "Frank Gehry, Jean-Michel Frank, the Memphis movement of the eighties" , which again, were strong, dramatic, bold themes - a trait that has not changed.  
It's just very sad that the house of Dior has been tainted by such an unfortunate series of events, and that Gayttens 'debut' as it were, was not the debut he should of had - merely there to build upon Galliano's already prominent vision.