Flowers and fashion go together like peaches and cream. Think of weddings and bouquets. Or ballgowns and corsages in years gone by. Or the floral fabrics for dresses which were popular when I was a girl in the late 1950s and which are popular again.
I love to have flowers in our home, as regular readers of my blog will know, and so – putting aside fashion for the moment – here are the flowers in our home today.
The roses are now more than two weeks old. I removed them from the copper lustre jugs on the mantelpiece and put them into this little grey pottery jug and placed them on the hall table (photo above).
A bunch of red alstromeria from Lidl have been ‘filled out’ with skimmia from the garden – by the way, all those luscious green grapes have now been eaten!
Apricot-coloured spray chrysanthemums in the sitting room. I love chrysanthemums in autumn but as they have such woody stems, unless you cut them right down they are stiff-and-awkward flowers (I mean their stems are stiff and awkward; the daisy blooms are a delight.)
And apricot roses for the mantelpiece; so that they don’t ‘clash’ with the chrysanthemums I changed the green candles for these bronze ones.
I have just finished reading The Designer by Marius Gabriel.
This is the first novel I’ve read by this writer who started his writing career when, to fund his post-graduate research, “wrote thirty-three steamy romances’ under a pseudonym.” There were occasions in this latest novel when I thought he might step into the realms of steamy-ness again, but thankfully I didn’t need to close my eyes and think of Britain.
I enjoyed this novel but with one or two reservations. The blurb on this attractively-designed paperback says:
“In 1944, newly married Copper Reilly arrives in Paris soon after the liberation. While the city celebrates its freedom, she’s stuck in the prison of an unhappy marriage. When her husband commits one betrayal too many, Copper demands a separation.
Alone in Paris, she finds an unlikely new friend: an obscure middle-aged designer from the back rooms of a decaying fashion house whose timid nature and reluctance for fame clash with the bold brilliance of his designs. His name is Christian Dior.”
I won’t continue with the blurb for I think it gives just a little too much of the story away. Also, I feel that Gabriel’s writing improves as his story develops. However, is this Copper’s story or Dior’s story? I also found the introduction of lesbian, Suzy Solidor (an actual person) and her attempted seduction of Copper unnecessary; Copper embarking on a lesbian affair seemed, to me anyway, as unlikely as her having a dalience with Hitler himself.
The book is undoubtedly a work of fiction but it is peppered with real people – Hemingway, Cocteau, Christian Berard, and Lucien Lelong whom Dior’s worked for before he opened his own fashion house – and real events. Gabriel himself says:
“As with many of my novels, this one contains characters who were historical figures. I have tried, with careful research, to draw portraits of them. But this is a work of fiction, not a biography, and even the ‘real’ people in it are as much a product of my imagination as the ones I made up.”
Did I enjoy this novel? Yes, I did. But with the reservations I mention.
And so to my non-fiction books on Dior (please see collage at the top of today’s post).
I feel ashamed to say that I have not yet read any of these books on Dior with the exception of his Little Dictionary of Fashion which I’ve mentioned before in my blog and which I absolutely love. My father bought this for me when I was ten years old (1954, in case you’re wondering). This isn’t that particular copy but it’s the same edition and I’m so glad I managed to locate it. I bought the other books, fully intending to read them but they have been sitting on the shelf too long; now is perhaps the time to open them and learn more of the couturier whose name is synonymous with fashion: Christian Dior (Tian to his friends.)
This is a large format book with wonderful reproductions of Dior’s sketches
The dust jacket of this cover is a pale blue/grey. As grey was one of Dior’s favourite colours, perhaps this isn’t by luck rather than by judgment?
Today is husband’s birthday. We have been invited to elder son and daughter in law’s for our evening meal and grandson texted a short video wishing his Granddad “Happy Birthday” before he went to school this morning. As we will be having a cooked meal this evening, to which younger son and daugther in law have also been invited, I made a simple lunch for us, just tomato, red pepper and courgette soup, which we had with granary bread and grated parmesan.
Husband has now opened a lovely box of shortbread biscuits that kind friends have sent him, and we’re having one each with a cup of tea.
Until next time.