May

– I recently discovered Aesop’s Mandarin Facial Hydrating Cream. The scent alone was enough to justify the purchase, but it has currently become my favourite moisturizer.
My combination skin usually gets very dry during the winter months, which calls for heavy-duty moisturizers. Warm weather, however, makes my skin more oily and this light moisturizer provides enough moisture while blending perfectly under make-up without ever looking greasy.

– We love the look of dry flowers in our household, so we tend to keep them well past their due date, like these lovely tulips.

– Another recent discovery: this Lindt dark chocolate with mint coulis and white chocolate mousse filling. Mint and chocolate is one of my favourite flavour combinations and a bite of this is enough to satisfy my chocolate cravings throughout the day.

– A couple of weeks ago I got to see the film Les Adieux à la Reine, starring the lovely Léa Seydoux and Diane Kruger. It’s visually compelling and presents the French queen in darker, more pathological light than the Coppola version, for example. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

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The Classic


(images via unknown source and afinefashionfrenzy tumblr)

Past couple of days suddenly feel like summer. Temperatures are rising and everything smells like holiday in the sun. Hot summer weather, however, can be a tricky season sartorially speaking. It requires comfort above all else, because who wants the fuss of intricate necklines and novelty details, when the humidity is following your every move?

This is the time when I fall back on the classic white t-shirt and jeans combination. Be it cut-offs or semi-boyfriend jeans, v or crew-neck, the right items never fail. As with all items that are known for their simplicity, the smallest details matter. My current favourite is a loose crew-neck tshirt in softest cotton. It drapes beautifully in all the right places, without looking overtly constructed. It’s easely paired with black jeans and brogues, tucked behind a leather belt, or with cut-offs and sandals, for the required trips to the beach.


(images from vogue paris and via naturalstylist tumblr)

Surroundings

In the past I found myself preferring art from the 20th century and contemporaries, as opposed to works from previous centuries. Lately though, I find myself rediscovering the parts of the museum with the Old Masters collections. These areas are usually more quiet than the rest of the museum and it’s a priviledge to be able to spend the afternoon sitting in the room full of the great historic paintings. Some of them you feel like you’ve known your whole life from pictures and stories. What really appeals to me is that I don’t feel like the consumer, always in search of novelty in a way that I sometimes feel when going through contemporary exhibitions and art fairs.

Instead, there is a quiet grace in these classic works, that also happen to be great companions for those solitary afternoons.
Afterwards, I usually find I’m more focused on tasks which require patience and attention to detail, because the rush of every day life is somehow neutralized by these surroundings, even if it’s only for a limited amount of time. It’s worth it.


(All images taken by me; image above left featuring portrait of Maria Josepha of Saxony, Marie-Antoinette’s late mother-in-law, by Frédou and on the right a painting by Breitner; bottom image featuring works by Fantin-Latour and Rousseau; all paintings from Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.)

 

Straight and Narrow


(images via trompe-loeil tumblr and source unknown)

The simplest of cuts are always the most difficult to achieve. It’s as if everything is laid bare and every half an inch matters because it might set off the delicate balance of proportions. There is just something modern about not feeling the need to chase trends and instead showing an understanding for quality of cuts and fabrics. It shows a great deal of confidence, too, as you’re not hiding under unnecessary ornaments.

You also have to know yourself and your body well, to dress accordingly. I myself, for example, favour narrow silhouette (with jeans or trousers) on the lower part of my body and tend to opt for more volume on top, because it balances out my natural body shape. Marinière tops work in this aspect as well. A-line skirts are another favourite, although I did find a perfect Jil Sander pencil skirt once that sadly got lost during travels.

I find myself being drawn a great deal to those that are simplifying their looks and letting their personalities speak for themselves. Adding more visual noise to the already overwhelming amount that exists, feels simply redundant, perhaps even irresponsible, although I do understand the temptation very well. Shopping for these perfect items is always a challenge though, especially on a budget, since these looks call for a methodical approach and quality, something rarely found on high-street. Nonetheless, it’s something I believe is worth investing in, as a wardrobe consisting of understated, high-quality pieces can take you anywhere.