Slim Aarons – The High Life Documentary
I just want to go on holiday in Slim Aarons’ photographs from Italy. It’s as simple as that, I think they are perfect! The most exquisite locations, the stylish and beautiful people, the understated luxury and timeless elegance, the right pops of colour… his images are not iconic by mistake. Instagram with its billion users and content creators can only aspire to generate this level of sophistication.
I finally got to watch Slim Aarons: The High Life documentary that has been on my list for a long time. Even if you, like me, don’t know much about him, I think some of his images will be strikingly familiar. Slim Aarons’ style, although not similar, has something in common with Wes Anderson’s – it is quite distinctive and recognisable.
Source – Some of Slim Aarons’ famous coffee table books
I found Aarons’ philosophy of shooting beautiful people in beautiful places doing beautiful things very refreshing, in a time when art can’t just be about beauty, but it has to have a message and be politically correct as well. That was not the world of Slim Aarons, and I am not saying it was right, but I appreciate the fact that he was able to follow his path, whatever that was. Browse a growing selection of his photographs in my dedicated Pinterest board and join me in my daydreams of la dolce vita.
Topiary – The Shape of Yew
If you, like me, have noticed the neatly ordered and shaped tall trees in one of Slim Aarons’ images above, then you will be interested in this Financial Times article about The Shape of Yew. I stumbled upon it quite by coincidence just when I was thinking about the topic.
I instantly learned something new, since I didn’t even know that cutting and shaping shrubs or trees into clearly defined shapes is called topiary. Did you? If you want to explore the topic further, read more about it and the best plants for this gardening extravagantza here and here.
I prefer the classic designs, rather than the more conceptual or sculptural ones (more here). It would have been impossible not to include this topic in today’s letter, as it kept coming my way, as below, on Monty Don’s Instagram only a couple of days ago. So much beauty in simplicity!
Source – Monty Don on Instagram
The Book Butler
Still on my dream holiday, now that we have the setting, perfectly manicured trees and shrubs included, let’s enhance it, shall we? I hope by now you know me enough to guess that pretty much anything book related will absolutely tickle my fancy, but a Book Butler goes so much further!
The invention of the Autograph Collection hotels for their location in Palm Beach, Florida, allows visitors to call reception, ask for the book butler and order a book from a curated in-room menu. A fresh copy will be hand-delivered together with a custom-designed tasselled bookmark and there is also a complimentary in-room dining option, Book Bites, which give guests the option to order specially paired small plates with their book of choice.
It’s simply the best idea ever, don’t you agree? Also, I want this job!
The Beach Pyjama – Le Pyjama de Plage
Location and cultural entertainment sorted for my imaginary holiday, I’ll start packing my bag and one thing I’d be keen to add is a beach pyjama! I discovered these on Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’ blog, and I quite agree they need a revival!
Gorgeous high waist palazzo pants and minimal backless tops or no tops at all. These were championed by none other than Coco Chanel herself and were popular in the 1920s and 1930s, causing a sensation on the French riviera. Read more about them and see many more beautiful examples (and sewing patterns!) over at Messy Nessy and Vintage Gal.
While I am on my imaginary Italian holiday, I will be sure to visit Sicily, as well as the Vietri area, where I know I can find the ceramics that have inspired Dolce and Gabbana’s iconic prints, from ateliers like Maremoro Ceramiche or Ceramica Vietrese. I won’t miss the Museo della Ceramica either!
The exquisite prints have become an instant signature for the high fashion brand and have even been used for a collaboration with cult appliances brand Smeg. I would give anything (bar the actual price asked) for one of those kettles or toasters!
Bonus exquisite find was learning more about majolica, or at least what we understand today by the term – naturalistic style pottery imitating fruits and vegetables, fish and birds and the like, painted in bright colours. It used to describe something quite different and I am not done with my research, that’s for sure.
Mosaic Biscuit Bonbons
Now, to wrap things up, this is what I would bring as souvenirs from a dream vacation for my mom and mom in law, my best friend, my godmother, my sister in law… for every dear woman in my life. For how could you not love these too-beautiful-to-eat mosaic biscuit bonbons?
I just spent more time than I care to admit browsing the Biscuit Boutique website simply admiring their various designs. My favourite is their Tiles collection, but I also love the Silk and Flowers ones. And the best news is next time I am in need of a lovely gift idea, they are one click away!
Rare Word – Vorfreude
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve just returned from a lovely holiday and I have just the word to describe my state – vorfreude. It comes from German and it means joyful anticipation at imagining future pleasures. Well, it’s exactly what I’ve been doing all week, no wonder I’m in a sunny mood. I wrote before about how important it is to have something to look forward to, so next time you feel you could do with a mood boost, start planning for a future pleasure.
I hope my letters will provide trusted inspiration!
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