Archive : April 2011

27 Apr 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

Obviously the press are having a field day with the upcoming nuptials, of which we have not been paying too much attention but when I saw my colleague Beata putting together this scheme trimmed in ermine I did have to wonder if some subliminal channeling of Royal garb was underway…

…then she kept sending me pics found on the internet during her search for real ermine for purchase…Marilyn in this ermine bikini was a particular fave.

The Comtesse de Castiglione wore it well lets face it.

I would certainly wear this.

And speaking of channeling…as so often happens, while we were researching our scheme…American designer Thom Browne (who I’m a big fan of)…sent this down the runway. 


Long for this…

Have used Duquettes ermine and j’adore?

Vivienne wears it well too….maybe she’ll resurrect this look in the afterglow of the wedding.

23 Apr 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

This week I made a new friend!  Jillian and I were discussing decorating, when my fingers inadvertently wandered into her bowl of chocolate sweets and to my delight they tasted pretty much like dirt!  Jillian tells me all about the health wonders of Chia Seeds…which I had never heard of…and since dark chocolate is also a great antioxidant I think this is a real find.



It gets me thinking about ‘unexpected’ flavours…and my love affair with some of them.

‘A candy of elegance from a more civilized time’

C. Howards Violets are a favorite of mine.  So much so, that when I used to travel for work, my youngest would ask me to leave a pack with her for comfort.


Canadians will remember Thrills gum with its distinctive rosewater taste.  I am amazed, and so pleased that it has survived with its legendary soapy taste…which they now brag about on the package!  I remember this sensation so well from childhood…that feeling like you shouldn’t be enjoying this and yet there was something strangely alluring about it. 

A little googling tells me that one of the nastiest tasting candies is ‘Durian‘ made by Conila….which is described as tasting like gasoline and onion.  Shame about the onion part because I was thinking that if gasoline tastes half as good as it smells this could be a find.

  And how much pleasure did we derive from tasteless wax as a child…is this strange penchant universal?

My French Canadian grandmother often brought us honeycomb, which looked a little more sophisticated but 3 seconds in was essentially tasteless wax.  We still loved it.

We never had Haribo gummies but I would have adored their fried eggs – still love looking at them.

They make a ‘small teeth’ version too – Dali would have applauded, no?

And one I have never tried but love the gross factor…‘Brain Lickers’ …a sour liquid candy that you apply like a deodorant on your tongue.  

 DO share your sensational sweet stories with us for Easter!

20 Apr 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

I never get enough of this luscious stuff.  I wouldn’t dream of limit myself to historical restoration but it’s hard not to salivate when the opportunity to decorate a period themed party arises!

When I watch the food channel, Food Network Challenge (love) etc, I’m sometimes pretty inspired by the artistry that still exists.  In the 18th century dining and especially dessert amusements were delectably extreme and this dessert table engraving from Francois Massialot (1740) illustrates the point.

When we were asked to decorate a dinner for Kensington Palace I was just a bit excited (!)  Nicky knew just who to call on for some serious silver loans, and I got on the phone to my dear friend ‘the Dr.’.  (Dr Melanie Doderer Winkler that is) who conveniently did her PhD on Eighteenth Century entertainments (her book is in the works!)  We all headed to our various bookshelves, ideas and images flying, and we all agreed that we MUST do a silver dessert display.

Now these were the rather divine windows at Dior this Christmas but its quite fun to think about this type of luscious entertaining heading into spring, when it’s more unexpected and seems extra decadent! 

This is a July photo shoot for example – and it’s pretty dishy.  One could make it ever more summery if you wished.

Of course my summer 18th century fete would have to have a twist of the surreal.  No one does it like Cocteau, though lord knows I keep trying!

And if you missed Thom Browne show this spring, I just loved it.   I’m a new fan and I thought this was SO Peter Greenaway.  So irreverent.  The models did get up from the table and walk around by the way.

And speaking of Greenaway…The Cook the Thief His Wife and Her Lover may not be for the faint hearted (it begins with filth, lots of naked Helen Miram, and ends with cannibalism – you have been warned) but you can’t deny those sets!! Luscious!!

18 Apr 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

You know, when I see pasta like this…looking ever so much like passmenterie…I am reminded of its decorative merits.  C’mon…tell us about your macaroni picture memories…

Mine certainly never looked like this.  Arabella Boxer used to go to town with her Vogue ‘Food’ spreads.

Osborne and Little have been at the food theme lately with the March adverts in World of Interiors.

Then Nicky put this on my desk today…British artist Graham Lester….and for you international readers…the chocolate ‘Flake’ stick in it is a dead giveaway.

Paper sardines….my children better step it up!!

13 Apr 2011
avatar Author: Colette Van Den Thillart
Creative Director

Yes London is abloom!  I’m rethinking my wardrobe and moving on to greener pastures….CLEAR green, not those muddy soupy ones.

Grandville always makes me smile with his verdant surrealism.  I could see Christopher Kane working something off ‘Les Fleurs Animὲes’

And the leaves at Kew Gardens are so full of chlorophyll you can taste it.

White strawberries with their teensy acid green pips are eagerly anticipated. 

Along with thoughts of summer fetes, preferably on bare grass.

OR…an entirely grass room as envisaged by American artist Sandy Skoglund - this REALLY made my laugh. Brilliant.

We wear it well indeed, and yet this 60′s Vogue colour palette would translate to interiors with ease.

Mynott??  When can I move in?!!

Now, if spring has not yet made you hopeful….DO spend a moment with Nicky’s adored Deanna Durbin and I’m sure you will find you ‘Can’t Help Singing’ either….!!