Wooden Framed Sunglasses

The Wood Look

What goes around comes around in the fashion industry and that's certainly true of sunglasses, the designers of which often look to the past for inspiration, as evidenced by the many retro designs on the market.
Sunglasses with a distinctive wood look have become popular of late and the style refllects mid century sunglass fashions, when wood was commonly used in the frames.
The Baghdad sunglasses below are 'wood effect' rather than real wood but they are also very reasonably priced and once they're on you really can't tell the difference. I bought a pair of these recently and they do have a definite retro look, reminiscent of the 1950s.
Baghdad retro style wood effect sunglasses
Baghdad retro style wood effect sunglasses
Baghdad wood look sunglasses in action
Baghdad wood look sunglasses in action

Decorating with Chandeliers

"The term "chandelier" is from the 12th Century Old French world Chandelierwhich evolved from an earlier, 10th century term chandelabre. That's not the end of the story though, because chandelabre came from the latin word candelameaning candle.
They have a very old and grand history and have been used to grace the fine houses and mansions of the landed gentry and aristocrats of Europe for centuries.
Chandeliers add a fabulous touch of romantic distinction to any living room, bedroom or dining-room. I've even seen them used to great effect even in bathrooms. They work particularly well with French Provincial or Shabby Chic design elements.

Top of the Range: Molteni Stoves

It was the master chefs of the 1920's who helped direct the development of Molteni stoves, a brand name synonymous with high quality, prestigious and expensiveprofessional stoves and rangehoods. Founder, Joseph Molteni crafted his ranges on the advice and specifications of master chefs and for decades, Molteni stoves and cooktops have been uitilised in some of the best kitchens of the industry.
Recently however, Molteni has moved into domestic home kitchens, offering the household some of the most beautiful and efficient stoves available. They are made to last and apart from the A grade performance, come in a variety of striking colours and gleaming finishes. From the glistening gold knobs to the smoothly opening drawers and fine accents, Molteni reeks of craftsmenship and attention to detail.
Molteni Classic range
Molteni Classic range

Strictly For the Luxury Kitchen

Molteni stoves are big, therefore they not for every kitchen and they are, as you would expect, hand-wringingly expensive - the home range having been designed primarily for the luxury kitchen. However, if you are fortunate enough to have both the room and the funds, they would be a fantastic acquisition.
Molteni craftsmen boast an emphasis on attention to detail, durability and state of the art technology. The solid steel stoves are virtually hand made, having been manufactured one at a time, according to customer specifications.

Chesterfield Couches

History of the Chesterfield Sofa

Apparently many Canadians refer to any sofa as a Chesterfield but this is news to me as I've always associated the name with a particular type of classic, large, leather couch, with a padded, buttoned upholstery - very solid and disguished looking and very British. According to the Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, the term Chesterfield is generally used to describe a sofa created in honour of Philip Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773).
True Chesterfields (as opposed to any old couch) are indeed very distinctive, with a low rolled back and thick, supportive, yet extremely comfortable padding. Chesterfields look even better with the patina of age and as they are made from good quality leather, they're hardy and virtually never wear out, unless you treat them abusively. Perhaps they might survive even then.

Elsa Schiaparelli; Shocking

Shocking Schiaparelli

Elsa Schiaparelli was one of Coco Chanel's biggest rivals. In the Paris scene of the 1930s, the Italian born Schiaparelli personified cultivated chic and was a style leader among the fashion icons of the era. Many of her designs were drawn from the creative influences of the Paris art scene and she collaborated with Salvador Dali and sculptor, Alberto Giacometti.

Yves Saint Laurent Style

The Style King

Easily one of the most recognizable figures in fashion history, by the end of his life, Algerian born Yves Saint Laurent had managed to make his name synonymous with elegant style.
A precocious adolescent, Laurent began designing clothes professionally at 17, while working as a couturier to an assistant of fashion great Christian Dior. Over a career that spanned over fifty years, before his death in 2008, he revolutionized several aspects of the high fashion industry and influenced a host of designers who came after him.
Saint Laurent's rise to fame was phenomenally rapid; at 21 he was named Head of Dior and his first major collection in the spring of 1958 brought him international acclaim - his Trapeze dress, in particular had wowed the industry and public alike.

Andy Warhol's Soup Cans

Warhol's Soup Factory

Artist Andy Warhol once remarked in his non-chalant fashion, "art is about liking things". Well Warhol must have been very fond of Campell's soup cans because he painted quite a few of them - 32 in total and all uniformly measuring 510 mm by 410 mm. They were created in 1962, using a silkscreen printing method and each can displaying the varieties of soup Campbells had on offer at the time. artist took ordinary objects from popular culture and emphasised them in ways that transformed them into iconic 'art'.
By the 1960s,the soup can, in all its glorious mundaneness, had been a familiar object to millions. By removing the cans from a familiar domestic context and placing them in a space normally reserved for works of art he was at once mocking the seriousness of the art establishment and at the same time elevating popular culture to the level of art.

Batik Art

Batik is an Indonesian word and refers to a particular method of dying cloth known as 'resist dying', whereby part of the cloth is deliberately prevented from absorbing colour dyes. Instead of a uniformly patterned colour effect, Batik cloth is a vibrant mix of hues, with varying colour intensity on different parts of the cloth.
Wax or paste is commonly used in traditional resist dying - this is applied to various parts of the cloth before the whole is dipped in dye. As the wax is usually applied by hand and the process not exact, a more random colour pattern is achieved, with indistinct, rather than precise borders around the patches of colour. It's a process that has been used in Asia, Egypt and Africa since ancient times.