duchess of cambridge and lady mary crawley

Here are two characters whose wardrobe I watched in 2011. The other day a spontaneous chat broke out on Twitter regarding the merits of the Duchess's Christmas Day church-going ensemble. Weighing in were Rev. Daniel Brereton (@RevDaniel), our style-savvy representative of the Church of England; Meredith Heron (@meredithheron), designer, blogger, contrarian; blogger Makeda Saggau-Sackey (or another staffer tweeting from @TheDuchessStyle). The Rev, the blogger and I agreed that the Duchess's aubergine outfit was perfect for the occasion. Meredith – she of the acid green wedding dress ;-) was the lone dissenting voice. She felt the outfit too matronly for the young Duchess. Toward the end of our chat I remarked that I thought there was a whiff of Lady Mary Crawley in the Duchess's outfit. Lady Mary is one of the principle characters in the ITV/PBS series Downton Abbey. Judge for yourself. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, Dec. 25. Image from

Lady Mary Crawley (played by Michelle Dockery) in season 2, Downton Abbey.

club monaco bloor st.

I am left pondering one question after my visit to the revamped Club Monaco store on Bloor St. in Toronto yesterday -- When can I move in? The store is staggeringly gorgeous. It is a miracle I made it out of there without spending a dime. Come for a tour.

Love this simple exterior seasonal decor. The majestic evergreen in its many varieties and sizes. You could easily adapt this idea at home in a front porch on a smaller scale. 

The entrance vestibule. Again, a beautiful display that you could replicate at home to store firewood. Though you don't need a woodburning fireplace to do this -- looks great on it's own, no? And again, the colour and fragrance of real natural evergreens. A warm welcome.

How do I love this? Let me count the ways: palette, architecture, chairs, square wreaths, mirror, fireplace fender, antlers in the fireplace, tile on the fireplace surround, carpet, cut log display...pretty much love everything about this. 

A closer look at the fireplace. Just love that fender and its little feet.

Such a very pretty play between the millwork and paint colours, warm antique brass and artwork.

Beautiful integration of rustic antiques for display.

Supercool display idea - books!

Another fireplace, another cool pile of books. I want that firescreen.

More architectural eye candy.

Sadly I could not fit this massively long tufted bench in my bag. Methinks it's a John Derian piece by Cisco Brothers. I'm a fan.

Um, hello, panelled wall, artwork, layering, gallery lighting, bell jar fixture, paint colour. All gorgeous.

Next time I visit I might just curl up in one of those armchairs with the fur throw and a book and see how long they let me stay.


granny square chic?

I was perplexed when I was clicking through the pics of London Fashion Week and found these two looks from two different designers:

Christopher KaneHouse of HollandSo, umm, 2 things: first of all, the granny square - really? Hmmm. And secondly, just how freaked out was the designer who showed last of these 2? You work and you slave and you come up with your colourful-Ali McGraw-meets-mod-craft-movement moment of inspiration -- "That's it! The granny square!" -- and then, oops, someone else thought of it too -- womp womp. (And each designer showed multiple granny square pieces - YIKES!)

I know we are in the midst of a giant craft revival. And I expect even macramé will have it's day. But for today apparently it's the granny square -- everybody's first crochet project. Sadly, when I think of the granny square, I think of this:

set of Rosanneor this:

bernat crochet pattern

But all the crafty craftersons on Etsy are crocheting their little hearts out making all manner of granny square goods.

clockwise from top left: petitcrochet; saltcitydesign; turtlemurtle; mygiantstrawberry; JacBerKitsch; mostlyjonah

Me? Not. going. there.

a mulberry moment

I was clicking through tonight getting caught up on the shows. And then...this. The Mulberry show at Claridges. The theme: Raould Dahl's The Fantastic Mr. Fox. This look: those boots, the bag, the trousers, that scarf, that hair! This is Sloan Ranger done to perfection. I adore it. If you do too, visit the Mulberry site for video of the show and backstage with commentary by creative director Emma Hill. Have watched several times already.

happy valentine's day

I hope you spend time with someone you love today. I also hope you enjoy today's collection, despite it's utter predictability.

prabal gurung, style.combrooke giannettiben pentreath

homes & gardens erin featherston,

erin featherston,

phoebe howard, max & cophoebe howardmadeline weinrib atelierbarbara barry

weddingthings.comvia tinza's tiddley bitsprabal gurung, style.comthe knot