Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Ten Minutes With...

Actress and model
Poppy Delevigne

What did you have for breakfast today?
A crispy bacon sarnie on rye bread and a coconut water

Best part of being a Chanel ambassador?
Access to the Chanel archives in Paris, London, Milan & New York. They are treasure troves filled with Chanel delights

Poppy with Alexa Chung at this years Chanel Cruise show in Cannes

Describe yourself in 3 words
Cheeky, Kooky & Compassionate

Where do you escape to?
My boyfriend's country house in West Sussex. It has wisteria growing up the walls and fields that go on forever

Who's on your speed dial?
My Dad, Storm, my agency & Amanda from Inparlour, she's a tanning magician.

What 3 things would you take to a dessert island?
The book 'Valley of the Dolls' by Jacqueline Susann. Black waterproof mascara for my blonde lashes and my I-pod - I'm loving The Kills right now.
Oooo and James in some very small swimming trunks....

Image from Valley of the Dolls

Who would be your 5 last supper guests?
Ossie Clarke, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithful, Andy Warhol, Christopher Plummer and Willow Crossley!

A young Marianne Faithful

And what would you be eating?
Anything with CHEESE! Cheese raclette, cheese fondue, a wheel of cheese, cheese on toast and pizza with EXTRA cheese. With cheese cake to finish...

Current Obsessions?
Can I have four?! Brazilian bikinis, De Gournay wallpaper, Neon rose body oil and Tom Binns jewellery

De Gournay wallpaper

What annoys you?
When people spit in front of you

Best London hangout?
Amanda Crossley's house, for cosy time or dinner dance offs...

Miracle beauty must have?
Chanel sublimage eye cream

Where will you be in ten years time?
Having LOTS of babies... And hopefully I'll be able to cook by then!!

Poppy and her boyfriend James Cook

Perfect Picnic

There's something about a picnic that gets me very overexcited. Like a small child again. Trying to work out why I love them so much, embarrassingly, I think it simply just comes down to greed. There is always so much to eat. Even if there's only four of you, you always end up with enough to feed a small army. It's what makes it exciting, so many different things to try.

Unloading one of our picnics

Chaz also loves a picnic. He even considered setting up a company when we lived in St Tropez delivering picnics to all the swanky boats and houses.
Just before the Cub arrived when I was too fat to get in the kitchen, he used to send me out into the garden and then would appear an hour later with a huge picnic basket full of treats.
At one of our typical picnics we usually had wraps instead of sandwiches. He'd make a little pick n mix bar of fillings. There'd be slices of chicken, bacon, ham, salad, tomatoes, hard boiled eggs. There would then be crudites and dips - hummous and tzatziki for me and taramasalata for Chaz. Boiled eggs and mayonnaise. Enough honey and mustard mini sausages to sink a ship. Delicious French cheeses - definitely an Epoisse and a brie in there somewhere. Parma hams and salamis. Big salads full of peas, roasted sunflower seeds, crumbled goats cheese and avocado. Maybe a barbecued sweetcorn. Basically anything and everything that was happy to be transported outside.

A posh picnic

Love a picnic in the bluebells

I'm going to have a big picnic this weekend and am going to ask everyone coming to bring three things each. I've been flicking through all my recipes this weekend trying to decide what to make. The Leon cookbook has a chicken superfood salad that looks pretty sensational. I might start with that.

images via

Saturday, 28 May 2011

The Last Supper

I read an article this week written by journalist Jo Craven, about how her marriage is built around her and her husband's true love of food. Chaz and I are totally in their same boat. From day one, eight years ago, food was our thing. From our obsession with mini vegetable spring rolls to our twice weekly roast chickens - we used to have one chicken each - we think and talk about what we are going to eat next 95% of the time.
Moving to France opened up a whole new world of culinary excitement. Artisan cheeses, charcuterie we didn't know existed and the freshest fish you can imagine. And obviously lots more.

Chaz and Cub outside the butcher in Grimaud

When our friends were leaving after staying with us, we asked them to sign the visitor's book and at the same time write down what they would have for their 'Last Supper'. We made them make it as detailed as possible so that when they came back we (Chaz) could create their dream meals for them. It became such a 'thing' that we would warn them when they arrived that they would be asked to do it as they left so they had proper thinking time. The topic of conversation at dinner before people left was guaranteed to be about the difficulties they were having trying to choose between certain foods.
To annoy me Chaz always says he would have a 'buffet'. I.E he can't decide what to have so he'll just have everything. I secretly wish that I'd come up with this myself but as I'm so strict with everyone else, obviously had to follow the rules I'd set up. You have to choose;

A canape and a drink/cocktail
A starter
Main Course and a drink
Pudding and a drink with this too
And finally a 'digestif'

Pasta sensation

White truffle brie


My Last Supper

A prawn and chive dumpling and raspberry vodka mojito
A pancetta, pea and mushroom pasta sensation
Chazy's roast chicken with roast potatoes, baked potatoes, red cabbage, mini sausages, yorkshire puddings, peas, leeks and carrot mash
A bottle of swanky red Burgundy wine
Half banoffee pie and half sticky toffee pudding with cream
Truffle brie

Missoni + Converse = My Name All Over

I'm not quite sure what to do about the latest Missoni/Converse marriage. I feel like I've been looking for these forever. My brother Ned has a similar pair that I have been obsessed with since they first came to see me. I'm convinced he puts them on especially when he knows he's going to see me just to taunt me. Not that I mind anymore. I've found my own and they are way cooler. The only slight problem is their price tag. They cost over six times more than the usual bog standard white Converse. They are proper visions though.

Contrasting Striped Chuck Taylors

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Magic Camel

Happy Friday
Love from the Magic Camel

Pamela Love for Topshop

Today is finally here. The day when you can finally get your hands on Pamela Love's new range for Topshop. I am beyond excited about the pair of her gorgeous Medicine Wheel feather earrings that are winging their way to me as we speak.

Alexa Chung and Pamela Love

Vogue getting excited about the collaboration

My Medicine Wheel earrings


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Camping anyone?

I love a bit of camping now and again. Maybe the idea of it slightly more than the practice. But now I've seen Ralph's idea of camping I am definitely going to give it another go. Oprah Winfrey went up to Colorado this week to interview Ralph Lauren at his 'Double RL Ranch'. Of course he hasn't done anything by halves. There's not a blow up mattress in sight. He's gone for full on luxury. Proper beds, paintings, gorgeous rugs everywhere. I mean, I could quite happily live in one of his teepees.
I'm not quite sure where to start in recreating this vision. I'm not sure that my local Millets is going to be up to scratch...

Inside the teepees

Ralph on the ranch

Inside the main ranch house

Watching the world go by

photos via

Monday, 23 May 2011

Sew Sew Sew

I really want to be able to embroider. I love the idea of buying beautiful slips of fabric and making napkins or striped antique linen for table cloths and then effortlessly being able to embroider a little initial or message on the corner. They'd make such gorgeous presents. That little personal touch would transform an already gorgeous present into something properly visionary. A proper keepsake.
My new found desire to sew is all down to the new embroidered Penguin books. They have commissioned new covers for three of their best selling books; Emma, Black Beauty and The Secret Garden. The beauties have been created by illustrator Jillian Tamaki and are so beautiful I can't wait to get my hands on them. Black Beauty has never been one of my faves but I think this might have changed things slightly. Come October 2011 I will def be standing in line for these. Might even try doing my own while i'm waiting...


Friday, 20 May 2011

Ten Minutes With...

Alexandra Finlay
Creative genius and founder of Fins shoes

What inspired you to set up Fins?
The need to not work for anyone else, to run my own business, and to better the feet of my boy friends.

What's next?
I like to think that the brand philosophy of Fin's has resonated with people. I have a really engaged and loyal following, and I would love to provide my customer with more than just shoes. There's a lot to think about, lots of possibilities, watch this space!

How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who seized the day, lived to regret doing rather than not doing, and had great hair always.

Current Obsessions?
So many at all times. Work-wise, one of my obsessions is with late 60s and early 70s fonts and graphics; I'm working on a retro Fin's trainer to launch in time for the Olympics, so have been referencing the posters from the Mexico Olympics in 1968.

Describe yourself in three words
I asked my assistant, Sal, who said: "Hilarious, Nurturing, Impatient"

Who would you like to play in a role of your life?
A young Barbra Streisand (let's face it, it would be a musical).

Ideal Holiday destination?
Jura, up in the Scottish Highlands, in a bothy in the middle of nowhere, with food, wine, books and walks.

Last fashion disaster?
I know this is probably not the kind of fashion disaster you have in mind, but I did have a traumatic incident in my Helmut Lang leather trousers involving Beyonce scissor-leg moves on the dancefloor. The rip could be heard above the night club beats.

Latest fashion triumph?
I wore the same Stella dress that Kate Hudson wore to the Met Gala last year to a party and felt pretty special, if I do say so myself (attached), although, being a little taller than her, I had to lower the heel scenario slightly.

Shoes or hats?
Shoes - mostly flats, always Lanvin.

What really annoys you?
People who complain about how busy they are. It's no wonder they get nothing done if all they do is tell people how much they have to do.

What do you like for breakfast?
I mostly skip (I know I shouldn't) but if I'm in London on a weekend, I pull out my Finvalid tray - you know, the ones with fold out legs - that I fill to the brim with goodies and read the papers. Ingredients vary, but rarely does a breakfast not include Nutella.

Big break?
My life has been defined by big break after big break. Probably bagging such a great team of shareholders for Fin's; I wouldn't have got past the starting post without them.

If you weren't a shoe designer, what would you be?
Definitely something involving fonts. I bloody love fonts.

Flats or high heels?
Depends on how tall my boyfriend of the time is. For single moments, probably flats so as not to intimidate a newcomer - I am 5ft10 after all...

What are you best at?

Biggest plus of your job?
Being able to take full credit for everything when something great happens

Biggest minus?
Having to take full responsibility when something shit happens

Who do you admire?
Annabel Astor. Her amazing vision, determination and ability to inspire has resulted in not one, but two, household names: Annabel Jones and Oka. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

And here is the Queen of Fins herself.
Photo of Alex taken by Sam Pelly