LibriVox – Free Audiobooks App
You already know about my passion (read addiction) for audiobooks and it is driven partly by the need to be able to enjoy a book while my eyes and hands are otherwise occupied, but also partly by inclination. I find some audiobooks more captivating and much harder to ‘put down’ than the written versions. One category of books I have come to enjoy more in audio format are the classics – the often long and slow-paced tomes that are beautiful indeed, but perhaps harder to reconcile with the hectic modern lifestyle.
Luckily, as most of these books are quite old, they are also now in the public domain, thus free to publish, record and what not. LibriVox is the app to go to if you want to find a generous collection of free classic audiobooks all in one friendly place!
Next on my list is The Count of Monte Cristo and I’ve read very positive reviews about David Clarke’s narration, available on the app. I hope you also find your next ‘read’ here and enjoy it thoroughly!
Alber Elbaz Tribute Show
Source – Alber Elbaz
Fashion Week season has just wrapped up, but in this letter, instead of highlighting my favourite collections or pieces, I will focus on just one show, the last one to take place. Love brings Love was a homage to Alber Elbaz, which saw forty-five fashion houses come together under one roof and send a look each down the same runway, inspired by and in the memory of the regretted Elbaz.
Rosie Assouline, Dries van Noten, Christian Dior, Balmain
I was really looking forward to seeing the various interpretations and there were definitely some that stood out. My main thought while watching the show was what a shame that he who was being commemorated, out of all the people in the world, won’t get to see it. It truly saddened me.
Saint Lauren, Ralph Lauren
But there is beauty and hope in the initiative and the best the rest of us can do is enjoy it and share it because it is well-worth watching (the show starts at 34:55).
The AZ Factory design team, the brand Alber launched only a few months before he passed away, also presented twenty-six new looks at the end and I really loved them all, the overall aesthetic and the small details!
One of my favourite looks from all seventy-one presented in total, the oversized balloon dress-coat in fuchsia with a huge bow – someone had to do it and really no one could have done it better than Balenciaga! Simply stunning and it looks to me like the opposite of the first look, the ‘mourning outfit’ by Elbaz himself…
The Coat in My Mind
Speaking of (Balenciaga) coats, I am still very much in the middle of a wardrobe overhaul, as mentioned a few weeks ago, only now I realise that this will be a long-term project, rather than a start of the season quick fix. Among others, I am looking to add a black coat to my collection. One in a timeless, yet distinctive style, with a certain charm, while still absolutely suitable to keep me warm and cosy, that can be worn both with jeans or trousers and with an elegant dress. I know… what else?
Once again, I find my inspiration and ardent aspiration in vintage cuts and designs. What would I not give for a Balenciaga piece like this one!? Just look at those giant sleeves and that tiny collar… J’adore!
After browsing for hours, I came to the conclusion that what I’d ideally like is a combination between an opera coat, a 20s flapper coat, and a cocoon or balloon coat of the 60s-80s. A tiny collar or a shawl collar which can be worn in many ways (maybe even as a hood?), the balloon oversized sleeves and a conical silhouette, maybe ending with a wide band at a mid-thigh length… Now, where can I find this coat?
Fanciful wishing aside, this is my reminder to you that you don’t have to wear what is on-trend if the style doesn’t match yours or suit you, and that timeless designs will always be in style and give you character. Even though I like many of the current trends in outerwear, the fact that they are everywhere and in so many variations, puts me off slightly. This time, I want to buy something from the past that has stood the test of time, and I already have my eye on a few vintage pieces on Etsy.
Let’s see if I can find The One!
This is an art installation from 2017, but I had to share the images, because it looks simply majestic. I don’t play tennis myself (yet?) so I wondered what it was that made artist Asad Raza choose this particular sport over anything else. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like the obvious choice, although I still couldn’t say exactly why.
In any case, it looks awe-inspiring and we already know we should all cultivate our sense of awe! I wish the bright orange tennis court were still there, in this 16th-century church in Milan, for anyone to enjoy.
What an exquisite find that would be for anybody who came across it!
I wrote before about buying gifts for oneself, since you do it for all your dear ones, you should be at the top of the list. Plus, no one will know better what you would love! On that same train of thought, I resonated with this article about celebrating unconventional milestones and rewarding ourselves for personal achievements that don’t have a spot in the traditional calendar.
I have been thinking since reading this about what I would like to make a point of celebrating in the years to come and the moment that instantly popped into my mind was the day I sent the first Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds letter – 17th of July 2020. This endeavour has put me on an amazing journey to discover beauty, art and culture, learn everyday, educate and better myself, and it has become an investment I make in myself more than anything else. I didn’t mark the moment in any way this year, but I will from now on.
What would be your unconventional milestone(s)?
Floral Styling Interpretations
It’s amazing how many beautiful ways of using flowers to create art can one encounter, if this becomes an interest, as it has for me. The latest floral find, via Messy Nessy, is the work of Harriet Parry and her ‘interpretations’ of famous paintings.
This is an exercise in imagination and craftsmanship, with a touch of surrealism, and the results are really quite striking. It was difficult to choose just a few examples to feature in the letter and I strongly encourage you to visit her website to indulge in all her work, including the Floral Humans series. I would love a ‘portrait’ by her!
Harriet Parry also creates amazing miniature flower arrangements (how?!) and miniature paintings of flower bouquets. She does weddings and other events and installations and she has even styled a bouquet for the Queen!
Her universe is pure flower art gallery, enjoy!
Quote of the Week – William Morris
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris. I stumbled upon this quote earlier in the week and it stayed with me. I found myself thinking about it a few times while looking around the house and reconsidering a previous notion that I need to de-clutter.
But it also made me think about how in the past even common useful objects, like radiators, were made to be beautiful, and how today that is not the case anymore, unless you are willing to pay a premium and go out of your way to find these.
The standard in design has become plain, characterless, cheap and uninspiring. A personal touch, a little DIY and some improvisation seem mandatory and will do wonders.
I think I might take up a little project this weekend. How about you?
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter.