A Japanese Jolly
When ex-Alidad designer, Renata, announced that she would be leaving London for the greener pastures of Brazil it was agreed by all that a send-off lunch was in order. A table was booked and last Friday, after a gruelling morning at our desks, we were ravenous and it was with much excitement that we hopped in the van, left the Gasworks and made our way along the Kings Road to Benihana.
And what a lunch it was! Our own personal chef, David, cooked for us at our table. But this was not cooking in the conventional sense this was cooking Benihana style with onion ring volcanoes and juggling spice pots (incredibly, David did all of this whilst cracking funny jokes). Crucially, this performance did not jeopardise the quality of the food in any way. The food was delicious and varied, a real taster of Japanese cuisine, ranging from sushi and Miso soup to stir fried steak and tempura then finishing off with a melt-in-the mouth “Chocolate Fantasy’.
The chef’s performance coupled with the deliciously, exotic Japanese food made for an extremely enjoyable and satisfying lunch. I will definitely be returning for some more “eatertainment”.
Everybody loves flowers. They are one of those few things that you can’t go wrong with. Whether the purpose is to cheer, comfort, thank, decorate or even apologise, flowers always seem to come up trumps.
I particularly enjoy a trip down the Wandsworth Bridge Road to Country and Town Flowers on a hunt for blooms that will brighten up the office. This tiny but wonderful florist is filled to the ceiling with blossoming perennials. Whether it be Tulips, Brodea, Cornflowers or Orchids a little bit of floral always manages to put a smile on my face.
And it seems I am not the only one who experiences flower endorphins. The Victorians also found that they received so much pleasure from their flowery friends that they started to attach to them symbolic meanings. In fact they went so far as to give their plants and posies their own language which became known as “floriography”.
Flower Power exists! Suddenly a tulip is not just a tulip; it is a symbol of fame. A cornflower is delicacy and an Orchid is love, beauty and refinement.
The Iznik Vases
There are two vases in the office that I am particularly fond of. They are handcrafted in Turkey by Mr Silvan Robinson’s company Iznik Revivals.
The problem that faces modern artisans is the understanding of mysterious, age-old technologies that were used over five hundred years ago. Iznik Revivals specialises in rediscovering the secrets of the Classical fritware, glazes and colour using selected Turkish craftsmen who work with the same methods as their Classical predecessors to successfully recreate some of the most charming of art forms from the Islamic world.
As Iznik-ware from the classical period is not only extremely expensive but also in very short supply, well-crafted modern versions like the ones in the pictures below have proven extremely popular. The pieces in the pictures below have to be specially ordered from Iznik Revivals as they are not featured on their website.
The Man with the Golden Gun…?
A frequent problem suffered by Alidad designer Paul Goulet is to be mistaken for Roger Moore and although PG insists that his doppelganger is far more orange than he is, the celebrity spotting continues.
Yesterday, however, Paul found a superb outlet for his predicament…
A Frolic in the Fifties
The glamour of the fifties was perfectly recreated at the Chelsea Textiles Launch Party and not just because of the new 1950’s inspired, spindly-legged, Laquer Furniture collection. The attention to detail at the party was so excellent that even the cocktail glasses were vintage finds from the era and the soundtracks were the legendry lyrics of Sinatra and The Rat Pack.
The 50’s theme was subtle and fun, combining perfectly with the playful and colourful mid-Twentieth Century designs. Our favourite piece was the Gräshoppa Lamp, an iconic 50s reading lamp, inspired by the 1950’s Swedish designer Greta Magnusson Grossman, and comes in all sorts of beautiful, muted colours.
Sushilla Done and her wonderfully stylish jewelry have been causing a lot of excitement amongst the ladies of Alidad Ltd. In fact, there are very few females left in the office without some sort of Sushilla embellishment.
Sushilla has several collections of jewels made from gold and silver and semi-precious stones all of which show off her textural approach in slightly different ways. A particular favourite of ours is the Tallulah collection where the chunky stones are left rough and unpolished. Below are some pictures from the Tallulah collection and one of Lina clutching her latest Sushilla purchase.
Feasts and Festivities
When Chelsea Textiles launched Alidad’s Medici Collection in their wonderful shop on Walton Street it was not just the textiles that caused a stir amongst the guests. Alongside the 16th Century inspired fabrics there was an astonishingly extravagant array of food and drink; a Medieval feast Alidad style!
Inspired by Francois Vatel, the mastermind of perennial gastronomic festivals in the 1600’s, Mustard Catering provided an abundance of food. When the party kicked off, everyone was greeted by trays of canapés and delicious apple martinis. A few hours in, the main course arrived – little bowls of noodles to fit snugly on top of the wine glasses.
In the depths of the shop, amongst the swathes of fabrics, was a ‘Great Table’ laden with silver platters filled with beautifully arranged anti-pasta. At each end of the table were ‘food sculptures’ (Wood Brown creations), adorned with exotic white feathers. For the centrepiece there was a tower of profiteroles – or “Croquembouche” – bound with caramel and on a silver pedestal.
The food was theatrical and spectacular, colourful and full of flavour; it perfectly captured the spirit of the Medici Collection!
The Medici Collection
The colourful pattern that is bordering this blog comes straight from Alidad’s new collection of embroidered textiles: The Medici Collection. The collection is inspired by 15th and 16th Century Italian Velvets and comprises of 5 embroidered designs in 3 colourways – salmon/sage, teal/crimson and pigeon/almond: a richly embroidered bold floral pattern, a delicate climbing floral, a fine trellis and two sprig designs.
The Medici collection has now launched at both Chelsea Editions in New York and Chelsea Textiles in the UK. Below are some of the fabrics that make up the collection.
Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty
A couple of weeks ago Alidad and Paul Goulet travelled to New York. They were on an important mission: to launch the new collection of Alidad Fabrics “The Medici Collection” at Chelsea Editions.
A few days later they returned, mission accomplished and full of tales of the Big Apple. But it seemed that in New York, business trips go hand in hand with Fun. And what Brit could go to New York right now without visiting “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Alidad and Paul had so much fun that they bought the book – always a sign that an exhibition is a success!
In the office we have all been admiring the book, with its wonderfully grotesque skull-hologram front cover, and so, naturally, it has become the topic for the first post on our new-born blog. It seems that the exhibition covered everything McQueen – from his armour-like tailoring and fetishy gimp-like suits to the ultra feminine corsetry and florals. Here are a few favourites.