Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walk - You are Heeled!

This place here is the recurrent setting for many of my day-dreams, this is where I spent some blissful summer mornings cutting shoes for myself and trying to keep my wits about me as I dived, perhaps over-enthusiastically, into piles of leather scraps. This is the shoemaker's place I rave on about .. yes he makes shoes.. but more importantly.. he's patient enough to listen to what I have in mind, does exactly that and goes over and above by donating me colourful scraps for me to turn into birds and all manner of decor to go on the finished shoes. Joe, the Man United fan, is an impeccable craftsman, the place is home to a well-fed cat and everywhere smells of drying glue (which is a very good thing in my books). Moreover, the sheer magic of the process('magical' - because few, if any are still au courant with it. We were born into an alienated generation largely accustomed to finished products).. so yes, it is sheer magic to experience something being made. Call me biased but walking through the workshop (any workshop for that matter) feels like an education.. it's a lucky find, an archaeological site where one is bound to find the very same object at different stages of production. Time stands still in this place and I can play shoe-god.

And here's a textured grey pair I'm very looking forward to pick out of its pristine white box, in its very first stages of measuring and cutting. (as well as a big pair of panto shoes that just complemented the colourscheme)

PS: a shoe god assembles heels and leather at will. belief in a shoe god requires the strength of blind acceptance of all manner of forms and colours, cuts and fashions, braids, pearls, buckles and more (oh so tough!!) Believers are often said to be heeled on the spot.

Get in touch if you want a colourful confection of a pair for this summer on babettopolis@gmail.com. There's a piece of banana yellow suede I'm going back for very very soon but I can share! ;)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fujiko and tales of fancy bedlinen

I am no textbook romantic,however I do appreciate the odd romantic gesture every now and then. I enjoy being surprised by a packet of skittles, I also love fresh flowers, but it's hard for me to sit and look longingly into someone's eyes. With cats, now that's a different story. Instead I opt to commission embroidered dowry items my family all but forgot to save up for. In truth, any excuse is a valid excuse to have something made by Sarah of The Secret Rose come my way! These pillowcases were commissioned and finished a while back and my initial plan was to find some contrasting material to create a stiff backing for them. However no material I came across was particularly exciting or even up to par with the embroidered side so I opted for the same light blue linen (yes.. I crossed fingers all the way to the textile shop hoping they hadn't run out!)

I have not yet formally introduced Fujiko to my blog, have I? .. so here goes.. my new dummy Fujiko, a birthday gift from a lovely curly-haired friend in a flattering screen-printed apron by Alexandra of alexandraaquilina.com.. Fujiko is one luck girl.. first week in and she has been showered with gifts!

see what I mean.. she also got to try on this lovely silk dress before me.. Thanks Lara [Hey Birdie-pie!].. you just sorted out my summer wardrobe for good.. this is so light and airy I suspect it'll be difficult for me to go out in anything else come summer.

sun is shining and we're busier than ever!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

oh (de) mon-dion!

This is no food critic's blog, however, this post in particular, is a food appreciation post. I've been treated to DE MONDION and I felt compelled to share the spoils..


Saffron and Langoustines
Organic Risotto with Hand-picked Saffron Stamens
Sautéed Local Red Prawns and Baby Spinach, Langoustine Beignet
Asparagus Emulsion and Fried Beetroot
(i.e. a risotto to make you forget all other risottos.. also who would have thought fried beetroot would taste that good .. I could have easily gone for the peppered scallop, the taste of which is in my top three favourite tastes, but after a series of disappointing risottos I, as a fan of the dish, needed something to restore my faith in it)


Duo of Local Rabbit:
Roasted Loin filled with Tomato Chutney
Confit Shoulder Spring Roll flavoured with Ras el Hanut
Potato Terrine, Turnip and Spinach Purée
Shimiie and Grapefruit Rind Confiture Vinaigrette
(i.e. could easily pass for an ironic nod at the poor rabbit's habitat.. yes the plate looked like an edible shrubbery of sorts with the roasted loin and spring roll creating burrow-like entrances to the purée by leaning on the terrines. Yellow edible flower thrown in for full effect.. Poor delicious rabbit! I'm sure Mr. Blumenthal would have served this on a furry plate and rabbit ear headband)

-state of stomach=critically and unexpectedly full).. still we proceeded to

(*no not desert, but dessert Mr.soft spoken-ITS trained-lad)

a delicate tower of raspberry turreted jellied apple compote with a spoonful of raspberry sorbet on top of a precariously thin biscuit scaffold. I fear I shall be craving that sorbet for a long time to come. Just my kind of tower.

You know a place is on to something really special when even the butter tastes divine. Here's a quick sketch of myself, armed with big cutlery (intended to symbolize the extent of my hunger/excitement/eventual bliss) and surrounded by non justifying renditions of what think my plates looked like. Last sentence loosely translates to: couldn't be arsed to take my camera I just wanted to taste the food!

and for the sake of balance and much sought after equilibrium I'd suggest they kill the 'oh la la french' version of miss spears' TOXIC off the playlist, use masking tape on the panes before whitewashing the windows (unless it's a style element that I didn't pick up on) and urge the super talented chef to create a 'rose-scented/tasting' dish .. for that I would definitely return .. after I nurse my piggy bank back to health ..

also .. thumbs up for the salty caramel chocolate .. I was to full to consume much else after all this however I managed to get a taste the foie gras and terrine and wild boar tenderloin and the sesame crisp from the other plates ordered.. and they were (of course) yum!

that was a good birthday meal!

*PS: I hope you excuse the lame joke (it does not deserve to be called 'pun') in the title.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My perfect dress..

.. and by dress I do not mean wedding .. a perfect dress would see me through most of my make-believe 'occasions'. I find little scope in dealing with practical sartorial issues .. I do practical everyday .. I stick undergarments into each other, wear fuzzy tights on everything .. and therefore, especially here, in the virtual realm where nothing is what it seems etc etc; I will not dwell on 'the perfect blazer that'll see you from day to night' (especially since i have an inkling that the best one for me is vacuum packed somewhere in the YSL vaults - so out of reach it's numbing).

Instead I choose to attend to other useless and delightful sartorial dilemmas.

I want to find the perfect dress that'll see me through an audience with Cleopatra and the inevitable grape and honey stains down the front from lounging about whilst stuffing my face. I'm talking about the perfect dress for the perfect dream setting. A dress so timeless it could see me travel back and forth through time, making a nuisance of myself, stuffing my face but looking impeccable in the process. If I had to exist as a virtual model of myself in another dimension (i'm sure there's a word for this, and it's escaping me), this is what I'd fashion myself into.

A classic columnar dress by the (*bow head down in reverence) inimitable Madame Gres and a gold headdress to set it off.

(this is not a 'costume change', I haven't been invited to a ball at the Gangi palace, but a picture of something that surprised me. I've just realized I had to take some words back. There's yet hope for Dolce&Gabbana on my (also imaginary) staircase to designer heaven)

Call this, on the other hand, what you like.. cape, veil, curtain (it is a curtain afterall).. it gives me so much joy to play with it in natural light. The best kind of fun I could get for 2 euro.

*disclaimer: I just spent a very 'real' morning of 'real' scrubbing and 'real' washing, dusting, vacuuming. I need to look at wonderful things to nurse myself back to a comfortable part-imaginary state. Thanks for listening.

Monday, March 12, 2012

smells of ..

I am the lucky owner of some art-deco braid which goes with everything or so I believe..

.. an adult version of a hand knitted kermit top (no not kermit sex) my wardrobe has been craving for ..

.. a blue quilted housecoat for entertaining at home ..

.. and a fresh bunch of flowers ..

hmm.. I can smell birthday (and kind hearted relations!).. I can also smell RAMEN.. must attend to the stock and promise I'll be back with more constructive posts soon.