This belongs with Leonie and the green dress, and possibly also this for added wickedness.

Miu Miu are actually doing a ballet pump version with studded black leather straps, and chiffon ties that go up the leg, but I can’t find a picture of that, so you’re just going to have to imagine it in all its lusciousness.

Open pleasure


A wonderful painting by Max Beckmann of his wife Quappi and daughter in law enjoying oysters in wartime Amsterdam.  Currently on show at The Met in New York,  photo taken on my visit this autumn.

Painting with light


An evocative title for a documentary I’d like to watch about the life and work of Louise Dahl-Wolfe.



You can see from these black and white photos how apt the title is.



I already knew of Dahl-Wolfe, who famously discovered Lauren Bacall, and also took the photos of Diana Vreeland in the New Mexico desert dressed in a matador’s hat, with a rose behind one ear




but I didn’t realise how versatile her photos were, and how well they captured the independence and glamour of the 1940s heroine.


This surrealist one is like Erwin Blunenfeld’s covers for Vogue – I wonder who inspired who?



Most of all I love the confidence and power of these.

Images from top to bottom: Pinterest / New York Times / / / Pinterest / / / / / / /

Justus and Hortense


Presumed Portrait of Hortense Mancini, by Justus van Egmont. I want sleeves exactly like that on my next dressing gown.

In my imaginary world, Justus and Hortense like Lucien et Aristide very much. I imagine they all hang out at a bar drinking kombucha together of an evening.

More seriously, Hortense was a serious power player in mid-17th century Europe. The niece of Cardinal Mazarin, she secured the protection of both Louis XIV and the Duke of Savoy when fleeing her husband, whilst Charles II installed her as his chief mistress when she came to visit her niece Mary of Modena (James II’s wife, and Charles’ sister in law) in England in the 1670s.

Despite a series of scandalous affairs with women of the aristocracy, including with one of Charles’ daughters, and a public fencing match in nightgowns with the Countess of Sussex, she managed to retain a pension even after the Glorious Revolution. Her life criss-crossed Italy, France, Switzerland and England, a reminder that for those at the centre of power it has always been an international world.