29 June, 2011

If Only The Duchess Had Known . . .

The Aisle

Wowza!  The Duchess was completely blown away by her visit to The Aisle--where brides can purchase luxury wedding attire and accessories from designer collections at discount prices during flash sales.  (For the non-bride--there is a lovely selection of shoes, lingerie, jewelry and handbags for wearing sans wedding.)  Isaac Mizrahi teamed up with The Aisle to design a capsule collection exclusively available on the site, and the results are ravishing.  If only the Duchess had known . . . .  Run don't walk down The Aisle.
Isaac Mizrahi bow minaudiere (loving)

Isaac Mizrahi Silk Faille Peplum Gown

Loeffler Randall Georgia Mesh Bootie

Junko Yoshioka Lily Garter Set

Ranjana Khan Flower Headband

Louis Mariette Fleur Headpiece

Elizabeth Fillmore Thea Gown (only $1690.00!)

Oscar de la Renta Flower Necklace

Ranjana Khan 5-Strand Crystal and Pearl Earrings

24 June, 2011

The Duchess Listens . . .

The Beach Boys, "All Summer Long," All Summer Long

Sly & The Family Stone, "Hot Fun in the Summertime"

The Lovin' Spoonful, "Summer in the City"

Led Zeppelin, "Fool in the Rain," In Through the Out Door

Small Faces, "Itchycoo Park"

Happy week-end!

23 June, 2011

The Duchess Wants . . .

Cast Stone Tufted Ottoman, Coleen & Company

In preparation for some late, softly lit nights on the patio, the Duchess is on the hunt for the few perfect additions to her outdoor living space to give her parties that extra punch.  Look no further than the cast stone tufted ottoman by Coleen & Company.  Both traditional and modern, it's perfect for any space (even indoors) as additional seating or an occasional table.  It's available in the standard stone color and moss green, and can be customized in any other color.  Loving! 

Readers, pick one up directly from Coleen & Company (purchase here) or from Harbinger LA (here).  (So sad to report you should not pick one up at Mecox Gardens on La Cienega--they're charging $400 more than Coleen or Harbinger.  Tsk tsk.) 

22 June, 2011

The Duchess Watches . . .

Million Dollar Decorators

The Duchess admits it:  she's obsessed with this show.  Typically Tuesday nights are spent out, and so the Duchess recovers on Wednesday morning with a latte bowl full of Peet's French Roast and a nice long hour of LA's most "amazing" decorators.  Ahhh.

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Kathryn Ireland, Nathan Turner, Mary McDonald, Jeffrey Alan Marks (with Ross Cassidy)---the Duchess DOES have a favorite, or at least two who vie for top spot.  Thus far, the Duchess's favorite storyline has been the one following Kathryn Ireland and her clients, Dean and Shannon Factor.  Thoughts/observations?  Cannot wait for next Tuesday.

Stills/press from Bravotv.com 

The Duchess Dines . . .

Farm Shop at the Brentwood Country Mart; The Terrace at the Langham, Pasadena

As the Duchess's pocketbook thins, the Duchess does not.  Case in point, this weekend:  two yummy meals out on the town with the lords and various other compatriots in tow. 

First stop Farm Shop at the Brentwood Country Mart.  The Country Mart is a virtually ideal location for parents with relatively young children, as they can run mostly amok without interference.  It's also very easy to spot your children there--their colorful attire and bright cheeks really stand out against all the white jeans.

Farm Shop was good, not great, but a big improvement over the formerly empty space it now occupies.  The Duchess had a vegan salad with quinoa, avocado and butter lettuce along with a green tea soy latte.  Her children dined on biscuits with butter and marmalade, and Lady T. dined on the coddled eggs.  This was a rare non-alcoholic meal:  with no wine, champagne, mimosa or any other libation ordered, the bill still came out to about $70 total, with tip.  Pretty steep for a "casual" and so-so brunch with the fam.

On Father's Day we piled into the Duchess-mobile and headed over to The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.  At the weekend when the traffic is light, it's a hop, skip and jump.  We love the Langham, particularly for its extremely kid-friendly vibe.  It is becoming customary, say, to spend the morning at the Huntington Gardens and Library, then to have brunch on the Terrace at the Langham.  The lords especially love it; the hotel is set on twenty-three acres of land; there is much room to move.  The Terrace overlooks the hotel's pool, and the hottub is right around the corner from the restaurant.  The food is fine, not delicious, but certainly acceptable hotel food.  The Terrace offers a kids' menu at reasonable prices, crayons to boot.  The Senator and Duchess grab a newspaper (gratis in the hotel lobby) as we walk in and catch up on our reading while the lords explore the surrounds.  $14 per glass for mediocre champagne (!), but what's a Duchess to do?  It was Father's Day after all.

20 June, 2011

The Duchess Takes a Peek . . .

The Napa Valley Home of Claiborne Swanson Frank

The Duchess is digging the rustic, boheme vibe of Claiborne Swanson Frank's cottage in Oakville, California. 

Shot by Claiborne Swanson Frank for Vogue.com feature "The APT with LSD"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

May the Duchess Suggest . . .

"Teenage Kissers" at Half Gallery

It's too bad the Duchess will be here in Los Angeles this week when such exciting things are happening in New York.  To wit:  the opening of "Teenage Kissers", the latest series of photographs by pro-skateboarder and artist Ed Templeton, this Thursday.  Templeton's voyeuristic snapshots document adolescents engaged in a variety of oral salutations.  Funky fresh subject (and curator too).

Opening Reception:  June 23 from 6 to 8 pm
Show runs June 23 to July 25
208 Forsyth Street, New York, New York

15 June, 2011

The Duchess Desires . . .

Julian Louie for Aldo

Resort Presentations, photographed by Phil Oh for Vogue

The Duchess Recommends . . .

Ryan McGinness at Prism Gallery
Speaking of LEADAPRON--Prism Gallery on Sunset (next to Eveleigh) has a groovy show of Ryan McGinness's work right now, "Trophies" (now through July 16th).  Prism Gallery houses a bookshop with a selection of texts curated by LEADAPRON alongside its provocative visual art exhibitions.   

8746 W. Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
T 310.289.1301
F 310.289.1302

14 June, 2011

The Duchess Anticipates . . .

"Peccadilloes" at LEADAPRON Gallery

The Duchess couldn't be more excited for this Thursday's opening of "Peccadilloes" ("little sins") at the LEADAPRON Gallery at Melrose Place.  "Peccadilloes" features cartoon drawings of the Duchess's friend Amanda Eliasch--writer, fashion editor, poet, art collector, beauty and general terrific woman about town--made by her friend, the art collector Kay Saatchi, that have been rendered into neon installations. 

Gallerist Jonathan Brown exhibits Amanda's cheeky but charmingly honest neon works, which highlight the many facets of the seven deadly sins: wrath, envy, sloth, greed, lust, pride, and gluttony.

"Peccadilloes" opens at LEADAPRON on Thursday, June 16 at 8445 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069.  From 6 pm to 9 pm--see you there, loveys!




13 June, 2011

The Duchess Recounts . . .

Birthday Weekend Goings On

Muchas gracias to all of you who made the Duchess's third 30th birthday so special.  With Lady Gillihan's early June visit spilling over into the birthday week, it feels as though she has been celebrating for a very looong time. 

Par example, last Thursday, after a brief visit to Monique Lhuillier (no purchases made, alas), the Duchess and Lady Slater met up with the Senator at newish Melrose Place resto Fig & Olive.  Incredibly excited about this one.  It was a lush and lovely summer evening, and though dinner was briefly wedged between work and more work, quite the impromptu treat.

Monique Lhuillier Boutique

Until it wasn't.  Lady Slater and the Duchess sat at the bar (as we do) for a quick aperitivo pre-arrival of the Senator.  We asked if we could transfer our drink tab to our table.  We could not.  (Strike one.)  We asked if we could be seated at our table while we waited for the Senator in the completely empty and rather vast restaurant.  We could not.  (Strike two.)  And then, we asked to be seated on the "terrace" (a handful of tables facing out onto Melrose Place), and had to be escorted out of the restaurant in order to be seated.  (Strike three.)  Not lish rose wines on hand.  (Strike four.) 

Though the vibe is very California outdoor luxe and the food was better than fine, in the Duchess's view, this simply is not enough to warrant a repeat visit in this town.  Save your money!  Le Pain Quotidien is atmospherically related, one-eighth of the price, and you can even bring your dog.  Three cheers for that.

All photos of Fig & Olive by Brandon Shigeta for Hypebeast

What would a weekend be for the Duchess that didn't involve some cleaning?  A sad and disorienting one, that's for certain.  Luckily a little birdie told her about Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which have made the job of scrubbing walls, baseboards, cabinets, countertops, window jambs, and pretty much any surface imaginable so much easier, and far more effective.  The Duchess now has a very bad habit for Mr. Clean Magic Erasers--the "white knight" of the household products world.  Yum.


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