Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Friday, January 11, 2013

2013: Things To Embrace & Anticipate

Hello beautiful readers. Have I told you how great you are? 

Okay, so the pic is a gratuitous one of Mr Redford (the blog's unofficial pin-up boy), but it's to illustrate how I feel about your kindness over the New Year. (Plus we saw lots of RR films last week –The Candidate, Barefoot in the Park; oh, if only I were Jane Fonda...) Thank you to those who sent notes, vouchers, gifts, and money to Miss Jane, and also to those who left a little morale-boosting comment on her blog. You literally gave them a Christmas to remember. More than three dozen of you responded. You are what makes this blog worthwhile.

(While we're on the subject of Tassie, haven't the bushfires been devastating? If anyone needs accommodation and can make it to Melbourne, email me. You're very welcome to stay here. We'd love to have you.)

Now. I've been trying to do a post for days – DAYS – but blogspot is clearly p*ssy that it's 2013 and that everyone's using that quick-fix, cheap-thrill Instagram tramp. Grrrr! I'm almost ready to join the Insta slumgullian. Watch this space.

In saying that, I'm not going to complain because 2013 is here and it's going to be a GOOD year! Don't you think? To paraphrase Carly Rae Jepson, "we woke up on the right side!" For us, this year is shaping up to be a surprisingly big year, and boy are we glad because 2012 was Hard Work. This September, my partner turns 50 while I turn (mumble mumble) XX on Feb 5. And in between those dates we have a lot of ground to cover. Literally. I may not even come home.

Okay, that's enough dull waffle from me. Let's get on with 2013. Starting with Things To Embrace And Celebrate. Wave those leftover sparkles around people. 


A bloggy friend recently commented that Melbourne restaurants are "cut and paste pastiches of the tackiest decorating eras in history". (Actually, she wasn't as harsh as that. That's my journalistic embellishment.) With due respect to this girl, as she's lovely, I have to disagree. I think it has some of the most beautiful bistros in Australia. Places like Pearl, The European, Cookie, Comme (the old Mietta's), and The Press Club are some of the most stylish in the world. In. The. World. And now Louie can go on The List. The former Millswyn, this newly revamped hideaway sits opposite The Botanic Gardens and is one of the prettiest places I've ever seen. The aesthetic is Old Australia: wide verandahs; cute awnings; lots of sunshine. It's just (re)opened this month. You'll love it.

Have you seen all the fashion inspired by literature lately? I'll do a post on it soon. This Chanel is slightly old, but it was one of the forerunners, along with Kate Spade's Classic Penguin Clutch Bags. There's now a spate of book-inspired frocks, scarves and other things easing onto catwalks. Who said fashion was shallow?

Navy is set to be strong this year, but black and navy continues to EXPLODE. Who knew these two went together? Blair Eadie shows us how it's done. With class.

Here in Australia, we still haven't been privy to Series 3. (They have to row it over on the rowboat.) So until it comes, we'll just have to be content with The Spoof from Bad Bread. It's rude, so if you're prudish, do look away. {Link}

I was lucky to receive more than a dozen books for Christmas (thank you so much L, N, P and mum), but this was perhaps my favourite. One of the best design books ever produced. The page design alone is pure perfection. Then again, it is Roman and Williams. Just look at their own library, above.

Here's another of Roman and Williams' projects, the John Dory Oyster Bar in New York. (If you look closely you can spot Stephen Alesch himself in the corner.) It's old Paris with a New York kick. Chic, no?

Prince Harry's designing a garden. We're all going. I might even try to find some of Manolo Blahnik's vintage botanical heels (above) to really show my horticultural support for the 100th year. Come and meet us in South Kensington. We'll be the ones dressed in the brightest colours.

One of the world's great fabric houses, Manuel Canovas, turns 50 this year. I think the Paris party might even be this week? Happy birthday MC. Your 50th Anniversary Collection is one of the best yet.

Have you heard the news? Vogue Living has appointed a new editor. It's none other than the current editor of Australian Country Style, Victoria Carey. I can think of no one better. 
International readers of VL may not know of her, but she's been at the helm of CS for years and has turned it into a superb read. She's overseeing them both as editor-in-chief. I wish her well.

This cover is why we love Vogue Living so much. David Clark, you were great too. Hope Hawaii is treating you well.

This is such a fabulous topic for a book! I wish I'd thought of it. Published by Monacelli Press and written by American journalist Linda O'Keeffe, it's a look at the history of stripes. I've lost the pic of the cover, but it's covered in – you guessed it – stripes. A must for the design library.

London saw a spate of new hotels last year, in time for the Olympics, but this bolthole in South Kensington was the prettiest. Our tour group would be staying there, but it's slightly above our budget. Pity.

Oh, what joy this news has brought us. Now that Kate is getting over her queasy state (fingers crossed for her good health) we can all start planning. I love this photo of the glamorous threesome. Doesn't HM look beautiful? Camilla, too.

These are everywhere at the moment. Everywhere! As stylish prints on stylish walls. As art in bars. Even as section dividers in Roman and Williams' book (above). I love the colour. Why don't architects do blue anymore?

Phenomenon is such an overused word. But it's perhaps apt for the blue and white trend that's sweeping the globe. 
The latest to join the China porcelain/Delft craze is Boston's MFA (Museum of Fine Arts), which is preparing to open a show dedicated solely to the two shades. 'New Blue and White' is a must-see if you're near New England in the first half of this year. From Feb 20 until July 14, 2103. 
Here are some previews of it...

Rodarte's exotic heels.

Rodarte again.

This frock is not in the MFA Boston show but it should be. It's an exhibition on its own! 
Oh blue and white, let's hope you stay around for a while...
{Lost the credit for this when Blogspot had a tantrum. Will find and insert.}

I know this is Giorgio Armani. Love this. Wouldn't it look cute in Capri? (Not that I've been.)

And J Crew. Just beautiful.

This trend seems to be growing in popularity. I know of a few people who are jetting off to places that aren't even on the radar. Even Viceroy Hotels (Kelly Wearstler's hubby's projects) are getting in on the act. This is the company's new Maldives outpost. But it's their just-opened St Lucia one that's really raising eyebrows. It's British colonial meets James Bond.

I love this magazine. Hasn't it come in design leaps and bounds this past year? It was always gorgeous but now it's downright sexy. Vogue Living, you'd better watch your rear. I think Belle may be moving ahead of the publishing pack.

I know I've posted these Blair Eadie pix recently but look at them! Have you seen such colour? I predict colour will be BIG this year. 

Miss Gilbert has been quiet of late. Well, she doesn't need to work, does she? Not after Eat Pray Love. But she's been working on a new novel, which is out this year. It's called The Signature of All Things and it's about a 19th century female botanical explorer. It looks extraordinary. Elizabeth has obviously gone back to her journalistic roots to investigate it. (Here she is in Tahiti, chasing botanical things in the name of research.) I predict this book will be good. 

This trend has been emerging for a little while now. You may have seen glimpses of it on frocks in the High Street. But it's gathering speed as people pull out their old Hermes scarves and re-fashion them into wrap skirts, cute dresses, bodysuits, blazers and all sorts of sartorial, swathe-y things. Hermes's own designer Christophe Lemaire leaned on the look for his Spring 2013 collection, translating the house’s iconic printed silk scarves into a wide-ranging collection of modern clothing. I love the book-lined scarf above. I'd love a summer frock in that for some cocktails somewhere. Imagine wearing it to The Library's or The Nomad's book-lined bar in New York. (I'm not sure if that's ironic or not?)

Sarah Turnbull is the former SBS journalist who wrote a book about moving to Paris and living as an Australian expat. It was a superb book. So good, it sold something like 200,000 copies. This is her sequel. Set in Tahiti, it follows Sarah and her lawyer husband's life as they cope with the tropics. Certain to be an interesting read...


  1. I'm loving the blue and white. So fresh looking. I have steered clear of Instagram also but may need to join the ranks.
    Happy 2013.

  2. Happy New Year Janelle. I have never written to you before but I've just logged into my pc at work and although I haven't had a moment yet to read your blog, your pictures have already made my day. Beautiful, inspiring colours. I can't wait to read your words .. and draw up some plans for a new library ! I'm inspired. Thankyou, Sarah x

  3. What a fab list Janelle! Happy New year to you too. Loved Sarah Turnbull's first book, so will definitely put her new one on my list. LOVE that Hermes scarf. That might go on the future purchases list too.... one day. Agree with you re Belle magazine - I didn't buy it for quite a few years as I became bored with seeing glass pavillion box style Architecture and interior shots of large glass picture windows with a Barcelona chair angled in front of it. Page after page the same. Dull. I've started buying it again (and have always loved VL). Your humble hut looks just wonderful to me - how exciting to have so much travel on the horizon, even if it is for work. xx

  4. Hi Janelle

    Happy New Year

    Great you're back. Isn't that cube library just the best?

    Re read Jane Fonda's autobiography over Christmas she like you is Redford fan.

    Humble hut ? do you think ?

    BTW is your email address still at bigpond?

    Almost forgot .. was looking at fashion spread in Tatler and wondered as I have before why are some of the shots in B & W when showing couture or at the least, expensive clobber (POA)? I immediately thought must ask Janelle

  5. Hello, welcome back and happy new year!
    Hope you are feeling refreshed and ready to go, as it sounds like you have a big year ahead of you.
    Blue and white is perfect in this summer heat.
    Loved the Downton tribute.

  6. Happy New Year Janelle and Welcome Back!

    Have long been an RR fan too - and also the young Paul Newman! Especially in film versions of Tennessee Williams' plays, like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Long Hot Summer and Sweet Bird of Youth. Also confess to a weakness for Harry! Will be so interesting to see his garden.

    Love all the colour and images of this post, as always.

    Agree too with Heidi about Belle. It had become a cliche. All those boring images of glass boxes with one designer chair - and maybe that enormous arched floor lamp (nothing wrong with the lamp design, just bored with seeing it in so many layouts). Can't remember name of designer but I'm sure you'll know who I mean. It's also the white plate school. Repeated in so many interior design magazines, ad nauseam.

    Sorry for being a bit grumpy, feeling a little jaundiced today, must be the terrible heat and high winds. Did laugh at your "Downton Abbey" link though.

    So good to see some variation and style. Great fan of Manuel Canovas! Best wishes, Pamela

  7. The Tas fires have been devastating nevertheless agree with you that 2013 will still prove to be a good year. Wish I had Blair Eadies wardrobe...sigh. I adored EPL, I found it when I was in a vulnerable place, just after my Dad had been diagnosed with blood cancer and it really helped me through....also went to Bali and Italy that same year. Went to Rome pregnant 2 years later and ate pizza, past and gelati every day for two weeks so identified with the whole weight gain thing yet thought I was permitted to as I was going to become huge anyway.....and then my French obstetrician put me on the scales and told me I had to reduce....apples and no cake! Chelsea, here we come! Rx

  8. I'm back re the Blueprints question: Architects don't use blueprints as the printers are much more advanced now. Blueprints don't show detail as clearly, and they use ammonia to make them and absolutely stink. I can still remember the smell all these years later. As most Architects use the computer to draft, it's much easier to send it to the copy place electronically now. The modern copies are so much better! xx

  9. Love the idea of using my Hermes scarves as skirt or dress!

    Sassy in Wash, DC

  10. Oh those colours!
    It's a world away from the fetid streets of dank grey London.

  11. Melbourne restaurants are some of the best as you say in the world!! I live in London now but miss Melbourne coffee and food everyday!

    Hermes scarves as little light beach bags is lovely but just don't get wet

    Belle is amazing! Wish it was easier to get here.

  12. Such a delightful post, Janelle. And thanks for thanking all your kind readers who've been in touch with me. What a splendid summary of the likely trends for 2013. I'm delighted to see navy and stripes getting a guernsey - I'm well and truly set! J x


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