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Posts tagged ‘#nystylist’

am·biv·a·lence amˈbivələns/

The state of having mixed feelings or contradictary ideas about something or someone New York I love you… New York I don’t even like you….. no, I love you.. no, oh I’m not sure…….. On a recent breezy Brooklyn morning, my day started out full of positivity, joy and with a perfect cool summer breeze.   I took my daughter to an outdoor music event at 10am; in the park, with several other Brooklyn parents. Sipping on my latte, while my mini-me bounced around on the grass in her Saltwater Sandals.. I thought, yeah BK, I can do this. I kind of love you. For a minute….

Fort Greene Park, live music for little ones

Fort Greene Park, live music for little ones

My day ahead was already planned. Prepping for a shoot in Manhattan that week. Bring it on New York, with this life;  maybe I can stay forever? Maybe it will all start to make sense as to why so many milllions of people fall in love with this place…. As my husband and I swtiched roles at 11am (a nanny free day means tag-teaming parents… how very on trend we are), I clicked on my UBER app to see a taxi would pick me up a few minutes later. With a spring in my step.. I hopped out of our apartment and into the cab.

The day was really starting to heat up, and the cab had no aircon. His driving was like something out of a 1990’s Bollywood film and as we careered through Chinatown, stop/start stop/start, I started to feel a little sick. The smells that began to drift through the car, city smog, mixed with sweat, dirt and a slight fishiness of the LES.. Ugh, New York I don’t love you. It wasn’t even 11.30….. We hopped a couple of avenues west and then slowly jolted our way up 6th Av, stop/start stop/start. Nausea, sweat. Yes, NY, the love can fade fast. I arrived at my first prop shopping destination, a mere 5 miles and 50 minutes later, relieved to be inside cool and now familiar surroundings. Ok NYC, you are forgiven.. for a moment.

My assistant arrived with iced coffees and a ready eye for propping… how dreamy life can be. The coolness, the convenience, the fast paced ‘get it all done yesterday’ vibe. New York we could really be something. The late afternoon involved another child handover. I stepped into my husband’s place of work. A super cool, (I felt far too old to be there), communal creative hub. I was not laden with bags as my assistant and two messenger services had taken control of that. So easy, NY. My next mini challenge was to get the subway up to Union Sq, and continue with my shopping, stroller in tow. (Pushchair, or pram, for those of you reading from afar). I walked around a few immediate subway entrances. Not a single disabled access sign. They are labeled for wheelchair accessibilty, but being a Mum in Manhattan with a baby… this is the entrance we were looking for. Nothing. So I embarked on bumping my baby down three huge flights of stairs to the subway line, one slow sweaty step at a time. Not one single person stopped to ask me did I need any help. Not one. Until I got to the penultimate step, and a guy casually offered his assistance. NY.. at that moment, I hated you. We stood sweating on the stifling platform, praying for a train to come. There are no little screens telling you what is coming. It’s mostly a gamble as to what is happening when; on most lines.

Not even 6 pm, and I had already done the make up/break up scenario with New York in my head many times over.  After a few more pit stops we decided upon a short playground break in Union Square. Such a lovely playground, right in the middle of the city. So easy and safe.  Sandpits and swings surrounded by high-rises and high rollers. What a place. My heart filled with a little bit of joy, seeing my mini Brooklynite hanging with the city kids in their hood. photo 1 As the evening drew in we met up with my husband and headed for an early dinner in Tribeca.  Sitting there, surrounded by other professionals, familes and young hopefuls all shaking off the buzz of the day from the melting pot of energy, creativity and ambition that is NYC, I looked at my daughter taking it all in. What a lucky little girl so see the sights and sounds so many yearn for and never get to see. My relationship with NY is like a relationship with a highly unsuitable, yet mesmersising boyfriend.. up and down.. off … on…  should I stay or should I go?  I’m still trying to work out what all the fuss is about.. high rents, no space, terrible winters, scorching summers… and yet, here we are. Not letting go. For now, we stay. I want to see what else  you have to offer me Empire State. New York I remain forever, yet ambivalently.. yours.. For now……

LES. We have only really recently bonded. And I want to know you more.

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Miss Liberty at her very finest. Photo credit Gary Hershorn. Instgram.

 

de·part·ment store

A large store stocking many varieties of goods in different departments

I love a department store. After all the posts I’ve written, each with a definition, somehow reading the above sentence makes my heart race more than previous ones. Words like ‘store’ and ‘goods’ do something for me.

I’m not sure if this passion for the department store is because I’m a stylist, or because I’m just getting old. Maybe it’s the perfect combination of both. Memories of growing up in the UK and my utter loathing of John Lewis, where my Mum used to buy just about everything; are flooding back to me. I considered the place extremely un-cool, especially when it came to clothes. I must admit I’m still not a fan of the John Lewis brand. Something about it seems very clinical, like a local pharmacy. But I am warming to the place in my old age. Especially the homes and interiors department –  commissioning the revival of the G Plan range was genuis. My friends in London bought their super stylish G Plan sofa from John Lewis, and I had quite a pang of living room envy when I stayed with there. Turning into my mother it seems. John Lewis, you never know, we may be reunited.

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Sofa by G Plan. Baby by me.

During my formative years I was more of a House of Fraser girl, Debenhams on a bad week. If I still lived there, I’ve convinced myself my ‘go to’ place would be Harvey Nichols. For special occasions, I believe there is nowhere in the world like Liberty of London. Growing up, Liberty was always there, lingering, slightly out of my reach in all its Tudor glory in Soho. Fabric and fragrance heaven.

Now I live in America, all of these brands are often a fond memory and I must decide whether I’m a Macy’s, Bloomingdales or Saks girl. There are so many here.. maybe Lord & Taylor, who am I? Bergdorf Goodman is far too sombre for me.  It’s the kind of store I feel like I have to be very quiet in, and pretend I’m much richer than I really am. I think I am none of the above.

My heart lies truly with ABC home. It is a department store of it’s own breed and it’s also my nirvana, I have said it before and I say it again –  I want to live there. Although this week I stumbled across a $1200 pillow cover. Indian vintage. I’ve been to India, I’m sure I saw something just like it on a bench in a cheap hotel. Come on ABC, be reasonable. I could go on holiday to India and buy 10 pillows.

Flat pack mini tables and chairs. With a splash on neon.. ABC you total flirt.

Flat pack mini tables and chairs. With a splash on neon.. ABC you total flirt.

Recently, in my Brooklyn neighborhood; we aqcuired our very own department store. Or ‘tiny’ department store as the owner describes it. I fell upon the eponymously named, Jill Lindsey store one morning and couldn’t believe my eyes. Just what we need, a tiny department store! Luckily for me, I adore all the departments.. gifts, pottery, candles, vintage finds and fashion. Each of them miniscule. The store also has it’s own oyster and champagne situtaion going on out the back.. in a quiet and cute little garden. Like gold dust in Brooklyn.. a garden.. this will be my summer ‘go to’ I’m sure.

It’s wonderful to see so many small an independent businesses popping up in Brooklyn, not only are they all after my own heart, it’s fabulous to feel a sense of community that we can support and enjoy. It’s another reason to keep me from the sweat box that is Manhattan…

Still, nothing will keep me permanently from my little fix of drifting the aisles of fabrics, pillows and nick nacks.. gliding up and down elevators with the aircon blowing in my hair… big department stores are still pretty cool too…….my age tells me so.

Jill Lindsey, mini deparment store Fort Greene.

Jill Lindsey, mini deparment store Fort Greene.

Jill Lindsey, mini department store Fort Greene

Jill Lindsey, mini department store Fort Greene

 

 

 

 

space /spās/

1. A continuous area or expanse that is free, available or unoccupied

2. The dimension of height, depth and width in which all things exist and move

When we moved to New York a couple of years ago; fresh from Sydney shores all sun kissed and dreamy, newly married and searching for the epitome of NY living, we moved into a two floor brownstone.  I remember writing about what it felt like to finally settle in and be at home somewhere, and also to belong. Our home was equipped with stunning hardwood floors, period shutters, fireplaces, claw foot tubs and the most incredible afternoon sunlight. I don’t know if I will ever find such a luxury again. Although the place was bursting at the seams with character, I still couldn’t wait to get my sticky stylist mitts on it and change the wall colours, carpets, light fittings and so on.. until it was mine. It took almost the full two years of living there to get it how I really liked it. And then…..we moved. Leaving our mark. old house

Two years on, we find ourselves in a space that is the polar opposite of a brownstone with all its exquisite detail and homeliness. Now, we find ourselves in a space that doesn’t even have a simple set of walls, or even the odd door. An open industrial loft. Sure, a few eyebrows were raised when I told people… open loft, dog, 6 month old baby, both work from home.. yeah NO problem!

And now I’m sitting here, five weeks after the event with no interior walls, doors, storage and wondering where on earth to begin and what on earth I was thinking? My husband, a childhood fan of the film, Big, loves it in all its lofty glory. But then he doesn’t have to make it a home. I do. I’m going to start at the beginning.  Im going to create a wonderful, stylish, urban home.. in a huge empty space. For the first time in my life I have a completely blank canvas. Modern kitchen, modern bathroom… and 3 white walls.   Wish me luck.

wall of windows spaceunpacking
entryway

art /ärt/

1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or a sculpture.
2. Works produced by such skill and imagination

I was once given some advice on art; which was invaluable and really resonated with me. It has stuck with me ever since, and when choosing any art either for myself; or for a friend or client I always go by this mantra. If you are deciding whether or not to invest in a piece of art, no matter how financially valuable the investment; you need to imagine yourself waking up and looking at that same piece, day in day out. If during this daydream you see yourself loving it every day, even better – it moves you in some way – then you must buy it.

Artworks by Tomo. and GORF

Artworks by TOMO. and GORF

We all spend so much time deliberating with art. Many people ask my advice about what will work and what won’t but I think it’s very much a matter of opinion. Each piece of art is a very unique experience for every person.

I awoke early this morning, (as I often do these days at thirty seven weeks pregnant) and out of nowhere a memory popped into my head of a small piece of art – that I didn’t buy; the one that got away. In Sydney’s Inner West, there is a huge auction house where I used to source props and furniture items for clients and whilst on a foraging spree one sweltering day I noticed a small painting of an African woman. She was beautiful and captivating, her eyes bore into mine as I stared at her. She was not, however; on my to – do list for that day, nor did she fit into my budget. I stood there for what seemed like ages on that scorching summer’s day – deliberating about whether or not it was worth spending $100 of my hard earned freelance cash on her. I decided not. Be sensible. Save your money, Emily.

When I got home I couldn’t get her out of my head. So I decided to go back the next day, clean myself out completely of ready cash and bring her home. Upon my return, I discovered she was gone. I was devastated. She didn’t leave my thoughts for ages. I wonder where she is now. Hopefully on someone’s wall, making them feel moved by her intensity every day; not stuffed in a box somewhere.

The very first piece of art actually did invest in was by Jamie Hewlett. Again, I was in Australia. And it wasn’t a huge investment, but at the time spending $350 on a framed, signed print seemed a lot, and so I paid it off in $50 increments until tank girl was all mine. She has been with me for years and I love her.

We are very lucky to be surrounded by talented artists within our immediate and extended family, and our close friends. So we not only get to invest in our future when we buy, but we get to invest in theirs. How deliciously rewarding.

Artwork by Inkie

Photograph by Emily Gilbert. Artwork by Inkie

Photograph by Tara Striano, artworks by Mairi Duggan, Audrey Kawasaki. Wallpaper, Tres Tintas

Photograph by Tara Striano, artworks by Mairi Duggan, Audrey Kawasaki. Wallpaper, Tres Tintas

Right now I’m having a small obsession with an Australian artist, Leah Anketell.. whom I discovered through some dear and wonderful friends of mine in Byron Bay. They supply a small corner of the world with the most delicious breakfast cereals and cheer up many a day with their quirky ceramics … The Unexpected Guest. I’m a HUGE fan of both of these beachside beauties.

All I need to do now is convince my husband two weeks before the birth of our first child is the perfect time to invest in some more art. For the baby, no?

So next time you need to fill a space or finish off a room, don’t just buy something because ‘it will do for now’ or the ‘colour works’ or ‘it’s on offer at Ikea’… take your time, wait and find something that really moves you, makes you fall in love with it so much so that you can’t wait to spring out of bed and look at it every morning.

If you are stuck for inspiration, please do get in touch. Not only do I have a small team of amazing artistic friends I can hook you up with; I also am blessed with a friend who spends her days matching art to their new owners… how fabulous is that? I’m off to meet her right now and take in a little Basquiat at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea.

Many thanks to Emily Gilbert Photography and Tara Striano Photography.