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‘If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.’ Voltaire 

In 1820 the mathematician Carl Freidrich Gauss suggested communicating with other planets by creating a gigantic Pythagorean triangle in the Siberian forests; he assumed any extraterrestrial capable of building a telescope would know the theorem. Apparently the chance of making contact by sending a message in outer space is equivalent to putting a note in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean (I’ve tried this), except in this case the distance is inconceivably vaster. Scientist Carl Sagan made the first serious attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial intelligence on the 3 March 1972, when Pioneer 10 was launched by NASA to become the first man-made object to leave the Solar System. His message was etched on gold-anodized aluminum plaque and the information and artwork – drawn up by his wife – shows amongst the message, a representational male and female figure, obviously accepting that science has its limitations when it comes to describing human beings.

‘Language is a virus from outer space.’ William Burroughs

Do the limits of our language mean the limits of our world? Paradoxically, what is not said (allusion and implication) is as relevant as that which is. Someone once told me this joke: Two psychoanalysts meet on the street. When one says. ‘Good morning,’ the other immediately thinks, ‘I wonder what he means by that?’

Did you know that more than a thousand languages are spoken in Africa alone and a quarter of those in the Cameroon? Me either. Words, phrases, sentences…we move in a sea of sound.

‘A bird does not sing because it has an answer – it sings because it has a song.’ Maya Angelou

 

source: istilllovecalligraphy.com


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I used to think black lipstick required a certain amount of chutzpah on the part of the wearer. How do you pull off an uncompromising, unmissable shade of onyx? Turns out it doesn’t have to be gothic or matte. At least for me.

I’m crazy for formulations akin to my magical green mood lipstick from Barry M that reacts to your body chemistry, and turns a pinkish-reddish hue depending on how hot you are. Just kidding. MAC has something similar; a true-black Lipmix that you can blend with any color you love for a customized, darkly romantic vibe. Try it under a shimmering scarlet or eggplant like Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar in Black Metal Dahlia. Black shot through with metallic is epic. Truly.

If as dark as you got was with that perennial classic, Clinique Black Honey, then you should definitely try Lipstick Queen’s Black Tie Optional as a layering piece under any shade, but with red, oh my. Think of it like a pair of the best black lace stockings you ever got.

 

source: zsazsabellagioblogspot/Sung Hee Kim by Lee Kyung Ryul for Harper’s Bazaar Korea 2013

 

 


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There’s something about September in New York; the magical fall foliage, the wind, the crispy air (I live by The Hudson). Just as we crave specific food as the seasons change, our senses have different needs too. Maybe it’s the thought of the impending winter, but I want to be outside. Fresh air. Not an indoor gym in sight. Inspired by an epic match at Yankee Stadium in July, I decided to find batting cages in Gotham. My favourite is at The Baseball Center on W 74th Street, where Iron Mike, the automatic baseball pitching machine fires baseballs from 40 to 100 miles per hour. FYI, take lots of arnica with you. Then there’s Tai Chi in Bryant Park on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and The Five Borough Bicycle Club for avid cyclists, or those like me, just seeking an urban adventure and looking for red maples.

 

image: wearesodroee


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I’m experimenting with silver-streaked hair which definitely possesses a surreally romantic quality and silver products. The Ancient Egyptians believed it gave super-human powers to those who wore it. While that may have been a bit of a stretch, it does hold promise for the multi-tasking prize: maintaining healthy skin and rebalancing energy. Julisis Silver Elixir Night, a cult product in Germany has a certain je ne sais quoi: rare ingredients and a founder who studied Paracelsus, a Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist and astrologer as a basis for his intriguing concoctions. Silver products are sold in abundance in Africa too; there’s an almost vampire-esque attitude to colloidal silver (electro-magnetically charged minute silver particles suspended in de-ionised water) which has long been recognised as one of the most potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. The most interesting brand is Phuza Health which makes Electro Colloidal Silver nasal sprays, great for colds or on planes to protect against cabin germs. The company also manufactures a silver-based gel for insect bites, burns and razor nicks. Gaia Organics have a pigment regulating day lotion with silver, copper, zinc and manganese, a veritable mineral fest for the skin.

 

image: betweenpeaceandhappiness


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I was chatting to a lady today whose waist-grazing braids were hypnotic. She told me they were in homage to Janet Jackson’s character in the John Singleton classic “Poetic Justice”. The long, thick box braids she debuted, became the signature look of 1993 and have had many incarnations ever since – remember Beyonce’s rapunzel-esque ombre twirls? Be it meticulously sculptured, thin, messy or twisted, who doesn’t love strands of hair that, once set, don’t require a second consideration all day. Now that I’m living in New York and experiencing my first summer in the city, there’s probably no better time to put what I deem as ‘the romantic plait’ to use.

image: natural belle


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On the Pacific Coast in Santa Barbara, California, El Capitan Canyon pitches safari tents near the beach furnished with handwoven willow-branch beds, in-tent herbal spa treatments, burning campfires and s’mores. Closer to home, Fforestcamp offers a modern twist on the camping holiday in the depths of the Welsh countryside. The ultimate antithesis to the soggy reality? Ralph Lauren’s teepees set up for guests every summer at his ranch in Telluride, Colardo. Instead of fire pit’s there’s chandeliers, antique leather chairs and glorious beds. If living outdoors was this cool everyone would be camping.


 

I met Tilly Macalister-Smith when we worked at Vogue and I thought she was the ultimate Nordic blonde (she is in fact British) who oozed an easy nonchalance that was intoxicating. Quickly moving up the ranks, she left in spring 2013 as Acting Fashion Editor of www.vogue.co.uk. Currently the Fashion Features Editor of MATCHESFASHION.COM, I wanted to know all about her ‘first ever’ adventures in fashion.

First purchase?

A lime green and neon orange skirt and top ensemble from New Look; stripy denim dungarees; a cropped top from Topshop with ‘fast N funky’ emblazoned across the front; one of those long printed hippy skirts with little bells on the drawstring. Oh, and a Kangol hat.

First shoe?

Converse blue suede sneakers, followed by Chippie trainers and Dunlop Green Flash. Then Red or Dead foam wedges.

First time you splurged?

On a red stretch Moschino shirt while shopping in Saint Tropez. I think I was 14.

First fashion obsession?

The Clothes Show Live. And Fiorucci.

First show?

Christian Lacroix in Paris. It was a dream-like entry to the show circuit, running across the Jardin de Tuileries in ridiculous heels in the snow on a school trip with Central Saint Martin’s. I had just been interning with Hilary Alexander and she couldn’t make it into Paris in time for the show, so she kindly arranged for me to pick up her ticket from the Telegraphs’s Paris office and I slipped in and stood at the back on tiptoes. It was intoxicating.

First foreign fashion find?

A tiny Fiorucci store in Verona on a family holiday. Between being shepherded around Shakespearian sculptures I discovered the tiny gem, replete with golden cherubs and a worrying amount of fluoro pink. I vaguely remember feeling like I’d found heaven.

First designer you met?

Of any consequence, was Jonathan Saunders. I interned with him at St Martin’s and he took me under his wing. I travelled to New York and Paris with him, he taught me so much and I now consider him a dear friend.