The Royal Milliner or Six Degrees of Separation

The English embrace the art of millinery.  I wish Americans would do the same.  It is such a beautiful art form.  One such artist, the milliner to the wedding party  Philip Treacy creates fantastical hats.  Not just for fashion eccentrics but for everyone.  Commoners to Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel embrace Treacy's hats.  He loves designing for the Royal Family because they actually wear his hats.  They keep him in business.

In his hands head pieces become surreal, sculptural pieces of art.  "There are no trends in hat making," Philip declares.  The wearer brings it to life.  Philip takes his cues when designing the head pieces from the outfits and the form.  "It's like little pieces of theatre."

Philip met Isabella Blow, herself a fashion eccentric, when she was style editor at Tatler.  She took Philip under her wing.  He even moved into her basement, and she became his muse.

The two became very close and it was Isabella that introduced Treacy to Lee Alexander McQueen, whom Blow also discovered during his graduation fashion show.  "Issy" became McQueen's mentor, muse, and great friend too!  The two men often collaborated.

Issy committed suicide in 2007 after a cancer diagnosis.   Treacy and McQueen forged on.  Both of their stars were rising.  Philip was asked to design the hats for Camilla's wedding to Charles.  That is how Kate Middleton met Philip, through Camilla.  He has created many hats and head pieces for the Royals over the years.

Daphne Guinness, heiress, socialite, friend, and muse of both Alexander and Philip recently bought the whole Isabella Blow clothing and accessory collection that was to be auctioned off piece by piece.  Sadly, we know that Alexander also committed suicide last year.   Daphne championed for Sarah Burton, McQueen's head designer, to design Kate's bridal gown in an article she penned for The Telegraph.

The beautiful thing about Philip Treacy, seen here working in his atelier in London is, he can make something conservative or REALLY think outside the box.

What did you think of the wedding attire?

The Royal Wedding~Looking Back to Look Forward

In 1981 Diana floated into the chapel in a cloud of white silk and lace with a promise of happily ever after.
We watched her transform from a shy, frumpily dressed, naive girl into a beautiful woman who eventually became a style icon.  Diana's presence and approachability brought about a new interest in the Royal family, creating a more modern monarchy.  But alas, poor Diana, championing for so many, yet who was championing for her?  I always wondered, would she have had so many personal struggles if her marriage was stronger, if she had not been manipulated and hounded?

Like those of my parents' generation, who remember exactly were they were when JFK was shot, I remember exactly where I was on August 31, 1997 and what I was doing when we got news about Diana's car accident and untimely death.  We felt like we knew Diana because she was always in the press.  And I did identify with her on some level, being about the same age and the mother of two boys.  It was heartbreaking.

The "royal watchers" are saying William will make a heartfelt speech at the reception about his mother and her impact on him.  I'm sure her presence will be felt.  Kate will forge her own path and have her own identity.  She, like Diana, has an ability to connect with people.  One wonders how these two women would have gotten along had Diana survived.  Kate is extremely dignified, but will she be able to live up to the scrutiny that England will no doubt place upon her?

And most importantly ~ What will the dress look like?  Long sleeve or short, embellished or simple?  Can you imagine the pressure?  This dress is making history!  I know designers are waiting with baited breath to see the gown, so they can quickly knock it off (those that make their living doing so).  That's something I've never understood or agree with!

So I will wake up early, put my facinator on, have a mimosa, and like tens of millions of people, watch the royal wedding.  I understand Wills is 1/16th American, so those of us on this side of the pond also have a vested interest.

A toast:  Here's to William and Kate.  May they live happily ever after.  

Damn it, where are my tissues??

British Invasion

Lulu Guinness

You can't go anywhere without hearing about the upcoming Royal Wedding but have you noticed you can't go anywhere without seeing the Union Jack represented somewhere or on something?  I don't know if it's a popular design element in the UK, but outside of Great Britain, I think it looks quirky and cool.



Betsy Burnham

Vivian Westwood for The Rug Co.


Gucci makes luggage to match

 The Union Jack symbol becomes almost a neutral in these rooms, like an animal print.  It mixes and matches with anything and has a certain WOW factor!

Lisa Borgnes- Giramonti's LR, ph: Lawrence K. Ho

Joy Isaac

Jonathan Adler

Keith Johnson via Elle Decor

Lisa's office (see above)

Helena Bonham Carter  wanted all to see her British pride.  At least she's wearing matching shoes this time!

A Design Driven Experience ~

is what developer or "cultural entrepreneur" as he prefers being called, Robert Wennett envisioned when he and architects Herzog & de Meuron created 1111 Lincoln Rd.   It is a "parking sculpture meets retail complex" (and so much more) at the gateway of the pedestrian walkway on South Beach's famous Lincoln Rd.

It was designed to almost look like a deck of cards.  The Sun Trust building, which sat vacant and was an eye sore for 40 years, was incorporated into the design.  It is filled with creative minded tenets like MTV and Nickelodeon.  The street level is occupied by restaurants and high end stores like Taschen, designed by Phillipe Starck ~

Nespresso ~

This fabulous kiosk blew me away with its array of gourmet potions, lotions, chocolate, and bold-faced designer products including Fornasetti tableware, Paul Smith leather goods, Oliver Peoples sunglasses, to name a few.  Robert chooses tenets based on their design-driven aesthetic.  He is committed to furthering South Beach's international reputation as a destination rich in culture, commerce, design, and art.

It could also be considered somewhat of an art gallery.  The white interior walls,  exterior walls, and the parking structure itself become a blank slate for different artists to showcase their work throughout the year.  I am sure it is quite a scene during Art Basel.

Chandelier 2002 by Eli Sudbrack.
Eli works in a variety of mediums and has shown at The Whitney & MOMA

unknown sculpturist

On the 5th Floor is The Alchemist, a high end clothing store filled with avant garde designers.  I don't think I will ever come across a store with a better view( seen below).

They would not allow me to take a picture in the store so I am standing in the parking area looking thru the store.

1111 Lincoln Rd. has a full catering staff and state of the art sound system should you ever want to rent it for an event.

ph: Eikongraphia

The pise de resistance is the top floor with 5 residences, 360 degree views, and a lush rooftop garden.  Mr. Wennett will occupy one.  It's very "top secret" and secluded.  I took the elevator to the top floor and this is the only indication there is more to see ~

All you can see is a sliver of the residences ~ a cool, contemporary space that is completely private.  I am sure there is a private elevator hiding somewhere.

To see more of the interiors spaces:  So Be Real Estate

To die for panoramic views ~ 

With our feet back on the ground, outside the building we see an oasis of water with native flora and fauna created by Raymond Jungles.   He wanted to humanize and soften the concrete environment, thereby mimicking the motion and movements around it.

ph: Steven Brooke

ph: Steven Brooke

ph: Iwan Baan

1111 Lincoln Road ~ the building, the idea, the promise, is a thing of beauty!