Latest Posts

SOMEBODY

The powder room was empty. She put on her lipstick, her favourite shade “Fire Truck Red”. She saw him in the mirror, standing in the doorway. “You should lock the door” she told him. He did as she said. He walked over and stood behind her. She felt the hairs on her arms stand up on end. He sighed and kissed the side of her neck. He smelled good she thought. “I’ve stared at you across the table all night, who are you?” she asked him. “Somebody” he answered. “Is this OK?” he asked as he slipped his hand down the front of her trousers. “Would you still do it if I said it wasn’t” she replied, answering him with another question. “No” he said, pulling his hand out immediately with no hesitation. She smiled and pushed his hand back in.

This had always been her fantasy, a consensual encounter with a stranger or somebody she just met. She never understood the appeal of the fantasies some of her friends had back in college, of boyfriends climbing through their bedroom windows at night, balaclava hiding their faces.

The train rolled into the station. She stood up and smiled at the man sitting in the seat across from her. The one wearing a navy blue pea coat and reading a copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Her somebody that morning.

Image: photographed by Cassandra Coldeboeuf for Mara Paris. Visit: mara.paris

THE DOG IN PHOTOGRAPHY 1839-TODAY BY TASCHEN

This beautiful book has more than 400 portraits of our favourite four-legged best friends from the 19th century to today, and includes works by Man Ray, Eric Fischl, Wolfgang Tillmans, Donna Ruskin, Fatima NeJame, Vincent Versace, Elliott Erwitt, William Wegman and Slim Aarons.

The Dog In Photography 1839-TODAY, Bibliotheca Universalis format by TASCHEN.

Image of Joan Collins and pooch by Slim Aarons, c. 1955.

Visit: taschen.com

IN THE MIX: SUCH A GOOD MOVER

It was a hot summer’s day in New York City. As Lisa walked Broadway, shopping for a new pair of trainers she saw a tall slender woman dancing in front of the windows of Dean & DeLuca, moving like her body was a piece of elastic. It was a surreal scene as no music was playing, it was as if she were dancing to a Silent Disco that only existed inside her head. A teenage boy also admiring her dance moves asked the tall slender woman “What are you dancing to?”. “Well you know I’ll dance to anything, from Daft Punk to Debussy, but today I’m mostly dancing to Chic” she answered. The boy looked puzzled, probably too young to know the Disco-Funk band Chic, but nodded his head anyway and smiled. He was thinking the same thing as Lisa, no matter where she had come from that morning or where she was going that evening, right there in that moment, dancing in front of the windows of Dean & DeLuca, the tall slender woman was happy to be alive, and she was such a good mover.

Listen to the Playlist on: Apple Music

You Make Me feel – Sylvester
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
Everybody Dance (12″ Mix) – Chic
Haven’t You Heard – Patrice Rushen
Got to Give It Up, Pt. 1 – Marvin Gaye
I Need You – Sylvester
Brothers On the Slide (Brooklyn Mix) – Patchworks Ginger Xpress
Everybody Be Somebody (Original Mix) – Ruffneck featuring Yavahn
Promised Land (Club Mix) – Joe Smooth
Blind – Hercules & Love Affair
Teardrops (Extended Remix) – Womack & Womack
Kiss – Prince
Machine Gun – The Commodores
You’re the One, Pt. 1 & 2 – Little Sister
Jive Talkin’ – Bee Gees
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
TSOP – The Sounds Of Philadelphia – M.S.F.B. Feat. The Three Degrees
Bite The Apple – Rainbow Team
More, More, More – Andrea True Connection
Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) – Chic
Got To Get Your Love – Clyde Alexander
Boogie Oogie Oogie – A Taste Of Honey
Born to Be Alive (Mix 79) – Patrick Hernandez
Get Up (Everybody) [Parade Mix] – Byron Stingily
Can You Feel It – The Jacksons
Easy – Groove Armada

WORTH ANOTHER LOOK: UNDER THE SKIN 2013

Under the Skin is an eerie tale of an extraterrestrial being who has taken on the form of a human woman as she drives around Scotland luring unsuspecting male prey into her van, before taking a journey of her own self discovery. Directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring a vacant-eyed, strange and seductive Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin is mesmerizing, haunting and unsettling from start to end, with a perfectly matched score by young British composer Mica Levi.

Under the Skin 2013, directed by Jonathan Glazer, based on the novel by Michel Faber and Starring Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams and Lynsey Taylor Mackay. Score by Mica Levi.

Lonely Can Be Sweet

ENJOY THE SILENCE

Tom ordered a Gin and Tonic with a slice of lime and flicked through the in-flight magazine. A morning TV talk show host listed her must have carry on items for long haul flights: an overnight face mask, a Pashmina shawl and noise cancelling headphones. A famous acting couple, celebrating 25 years of marriage romanticized about favourite holiday getaways: Tahiti, Bora Bora and a private island off the coast of Australia they didn’t wish to name. “Tahiti looks nice” Tom chuckled to himself, remembering the catch phrase from a TV commercial when he was a small boy. He took a sip of his Gin and Tonic, crunching a couple of ice cubes between his teeth and returned the magazine to its holder carefully so he didn’t disturb the person sitting in the seat in front of him. Two business men sitting in the seats either side of him in 6A and 6C, both dressed in ill-fitting suits and badly knotted ties had fallen asleep before the plane had taken off, impressing and annoying Tom at the same time as sleeping on a plane was a skill he’d never been able to master. He eased his seat back, closed his eyes and turned his thoughts to her.

Tom remembered the day he first saw Audrey Jones. It was Autumn, the leaves on the Japanese Maple trees outside his office building had begun to turn red and the morning air felt crisp and cool, cool enough for people to start wearing their winter coats but not cold enough for hats, scarves or gloves. As he moved through the revolving door and towards the elevators she caught his eye, sitting in reception on an olive-green velvet armchair, staring into space like she was deep in thought. She was impeccably dressed and very chic, her style a nod to the mid 1970’s like a young Faye Dunaway in the Sidney Lumet film Network. She noticed Tom looking at her and flashed him a warm smile.

Audrey Jones was a linguist whose purpose in life was to “make words sing”. Tom’s boss had poached her from a rival publishing house where she’d been successful at translating several challenging texts, including the last novel by an obscure French author who mysteriously disappeared in 1978. As the story goes he left his Paris apartment one Tuesday morning to buy a bottle of wine and some bread and cheese for lunch, and was never seen or heard from again. Three months later his housekeeper found a manuscript in his wardrobe with instructions to hand deliver it to his sister Celine who he had also dedicated his novel to. Celine kept her brother’s manuscript under lock and key for thirty years before she finally allowed someone to publish it. Of course the novel ended up being a best seller and viewed by most Literary critics as a companion piece to Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, with its small community of charming characters living above Paris in Montmartre, going about their daily routines and speaking a peculiar French language full of riddles, metaphors and rhymes. However the novel and the publicity surrounding the author’s disappearance took its toll and six months after being published Celine passed away and Audrey, seeking solace and a way for words to have more meaning to her again, poured herself of glass of wine, wrote a letter to her parents and took a vow of silence.

Audrey carried a small red leather-bound notebook so she could communicate with her colleagues at work and if she liked someone she would leave a yellow post-it note on their desk with a combination of words she found intriguing written on it or a favourite Japanese Haiku. Tom kept his collection of Audrey’s post-it notes on his fridge at home, his favourite “lonely can be sweet”, which Audrey gave to him after one of their regular Tuesday lunch dates at a café owned by a sweet elderly French man who made the most exquisite herb omelette and coffee with a caramel tasting crema so delicious even a sweet-tooth like Tom didn’t need to add sugar.

Tom returned his seat to the upright position, finished his Gin and Tonic and handed the empty cup to a member of the cabin crew who was making his way through the plane with a large green garbage bag. The Pilot announced on the intercom the plane had commenced its descent and asked the cabin crew to prepare for landing. The two business men in 6A and 6C yawned without covering their mouths and sent a whiff of stale alcohol tinged breath Tom’s way, giving away the secret to their slumber and reminding Tom he’d seen them earlier in the airline lounge, eating bowls of peanuts and drinking five or six Whisky and Sodas before boarding their 12pm flight. As the plane landed the people sitting in the seats behind Tom clapped, apparently “it was one of the smoothest landings they’d ever had”. This was something Tom’s Mother and his Aunt Bunny liked to do when they travelled to his Grandparent’s house every Christmas. Tom rolled his eyes just like he did when he was a fourteen year-old boy.

The First Presbyterian Church served a neighbourhood of affluent churchgoers whose homes had perfectly manicured gardens and expensive European cars in their driveways. It was a hot afternoon, too hot for a suit and tie. Tom entered the Church, wiping his forehead with the back of his hand, silently cursing his Uber driver who’d taken a wrong turn and made him miss the beginning of the service. He looked towards the front of the Church and saw Audrey sitting next to a woman he assumed was her Mother. The only seat left was next to a row of elegant women dressed in black Chanel suits, Hermes Birkin bags sitting neatly in their laps and cooling themselves with sandalwood fans. A man who looked remarkably like Alfred Hitchcock was finishing the last words of a tribute to his friend William Randolph Jones, projecting his voice without the need for a microphone, like an actor reciting Shakespeare on the stage. “… Bill was our friend, a devoted husband to his wife Elizabeth and loving father to their daughter Audrey who will read one of her father’s favourite poems for us now”.

Tom’s heart started to race as he realised he had never heard Audrey speak before. As she walked up the three steps to where Hitchcock’s Doppelgänger was standing Tom held his breath, expecting to hear a warm, resonating, radio announcer’s voice. As Audrey spoke the first line of her father’s favourite poem Tom winced. She had the kind of voice that shattered glass, high-pitched like one of those silent movie actors whose careers were over as soon as the talkies were born. Thankfully the poem wasn’t very long, resembling one of those Japanese Haikus Audrey was so fond of. Audrey returned to her seat and rested her head on her mother’s shoulder. As far as Tom knew she hadn’t seen him sitting in the back of the Church and she had no idea he was coming to her father’s funeral that day. As the congregation stood up to sing the last Hymn Tom made his swift exit from the Church and booked an Uber back to the quiet sanctuary of his hotel.

Image: Faye Dunaway as Diana Christensen in Network, directed by Sidney Lumet, 1976.

REMEMBERING KATE SPADE

I remember my first trip to New York. I was living in London at the time, it was my birthday, and the first thing I wanted to do as soon as we landed at JFK Airport was to visit the Kate Spade store and treat myself to one of her bags. This was pre-2006 before Kate Spade sold the company and it turned into the multi-million dollar business that it is today. I remember walking into the store in Soho, and seeing it for the first time: a black fabric tote with the most exquisite embroidery on the front (not frou-frou at all, more vintage boho-chic), sassy pink lining on the inside and glossy cane handles that reminded me of an antique umbrella. I fell in love with that bag there and then.

I’ve seen many similar stories shared on social media today following Kate Spade’s sad passing, I really hope she knew how much joy she gave to so many women.

CHAPTER 11

It was Christmas Eve the night Erin and Sean moved into the apartment in the Rosemont Building on Railway Terrace. They’d met at a party only three month’s earlier through a mutual friend who predicted they’d be slow dancing by midnight and living together by New Year’s Eve. Sean was an art school drop-out with wild raven hair that made him look like a cross between a young Robert Smith from the Cure and a Japanese Anime character. He had a lazy, effortless style, oversized grey sweatshirts worn with baggy indigo denim jeans, half-tucked into paint splattered boots which he scuffed and stomped around in like a moody teenager. Erin was definitely Sean’s type, a tall icy blonde of Danish descent with a 60’s vibe borrowed mostly from Edie Sedgwick. After the party Erin went home with Sean and never left, which irritated Sean’s housemates who felt she was living there rent-free. Suffice to say, this living arrangement didn’t last long, so Erin and Sean soon found themselves three month’s into their new relationship, unpacking boxes and drinking Prosecco from chipped china tea cups in their new home.

The lobby of the Rosemont was what most people described as faded grandeur. Dusty red velvet curtains framed large sash windows, chandeliers in dire need of a clean and polish lined the ceiling and the black and grey Terrazzo tiled floor had cracks so big that women often got their heels stuck inside of them. Some of the tenants believed the owner of the shoe repair store across the street was in cahoots with the owner of the Rosemont as those heel-destroying cracks gave him so much business. However regardless of its faded grandeur and slow descent into disrepair the Rosemont had stories to tell which is what Erin liked about it the most. In the 1920’s a famous writer and his wife lived in the Penthouse apartment, throwing decadent parties where guests would dance and drink martinis until they could no longer stand. In the Spring of 1955 a man wearing a shiny blue suit with a red rose in his lapel shot a Mob Boss as he walked out of the elevator in the lobby, you can still see a small hole in a wooden panel next to the elevator where the first bullet missed. Towards the end of the 1980’s a strange man named Dieter von Saturn moved into the Penthouse apartment with his entourage of five men and five women who believed Dieter was an alien being who would take them back to his home planet before the World ended on Tuesday September 13, 1988. On Monday September 12 Dieter mysteriously disappeared, leaving his believers heartbroken and a large amount of unpaid rent. Some say Dieter travelled back to his home planet and died there alone, while others say he is alive and well and living on the Island of Tahiti with a new entourage of believers.

A few weeks after Erin and Sean moved into the Rosemont Sean’s parents, still tanned from a Christmas holiday in Hawaii, stopped by with belated Christmas presents, a mountain bike for Sean (useful as he’d recently lost his driver’s licence due to a D.U.I. charge), and a DustBuster for Erin (which she thought the most condescending gift anyone had ever bought her). As Sean’s parents surveyed the apartment Erin told them the stories of the Rosemont’s past, the famous writer and his wife and their decadent parties, the Mob Boss assassination in the lobby and the strange Cult Leader named Dieter. Sean’s father nodded in amusement, his smile framed by a Tom Selleck-style moustache grown during his Hawaiian holiday while Sean’s Mother slurred out the words “rubbish” and “ridiculous” and rolled her eyes as she drank a large glass of Shiraz in two gulps. Erin noticed both Sean and his Mother were the type of people whose eyes would glaze over and speech would slur after only two glasses of wine. As Sean’s Mother opened another bottle and Sean’s father fell asleep upright on the sofa, Erin looked at the clock on the kitchen wall and wished they would hurry up and leave, she had an early start at work the next morning.

Erin worked on the perfume counter in a department store only a few blocks from the Rosemont. It was a store frequented by people of a certain age, wealth and plastic surgeon. Erin would have preferred a job in the store’s younger and more accessible sibling across the street however it didn’t pay as well. Most of Erin’s customers were rich business men who’d buy expensive perfumes for their mistresses, discreetly slipping a fifty dollar bill into the palm of her hand to keep quiet when she saw them back at the perfume counter the following week with their wives. Erin kept the money in a silver biscuit tin inside her locker, saving her participation in their deception for a rainy day.

As the year went by and the cracks in the black and grey Terrazzo tiled floor in the Rosemont’s lobby grew bigger, so did the gaping holes in Erin and Sean’s relationship. There would be no stories at the Rosemont worth remembering them by, just tales of Erin and Sean’s growing disenchantment with each other. Every Tuesday at 6 o’clock Erin’s favourite Aunt would meet her after work to take her out for dinner. Her Aunt lived in a five bedroom townhouse in a more affluent part of the city and spent most of her time carving statues of peculiar people out of pale pink stone which she sold in small galleries and antique stores owned by her friends. She was the sort of woman who dressed in Yohji Yamamoto and wore large resin bangles that stretched from her wrist right up to her elbow on both arms. She liked to tease her hair into a bird’s nest style bun on top of her head and was never seen without her favourite shade of cherry red lipstick which over the years she had become an expert at applying without the need for a mirror. At the end of these evenings Erin wished she could escape to her Aunt’s townhouse than go home to an uninterested Sean, drunk and asleep on the sofa, a glass knocked over on the coffee table and red wine spilt all over her Vogue magazines. As a child Erin stayed with her Aunt every weekend while her Mother spent time with another new boyfriend. Erin always stayed in the same room, one she helped her Aunt decorate with luxurious yellow velvet drapes that stretched from the floor to the ceiling and silk cushions with elegant line illustrations of fashionable women sipping coffee and eating Macarons in a Paris café. These were the only decorative pieces in Erin’s room apart from the large flower bed on view outside the windows which were full of the most vivid yellow daffodils in the Spring. The thought of being picked up by her Mother on Sunday evening and leaving her Aunt’s stylish townhouse for the long subway ride home to their dreary apartment always gave Erin a terrible feeling at the pit of her stomach, much like the thought of going home to Sean after dinner with her Aunt every Tuesday evening.

It was Christmas Eve, a year after the night Erin and Sean moved into the apartment in the Rosemont Building on Railway Terrace. It was a rainy day so Erin emptied the silver biscuit tin in her locker on her lunch break and bought two Christmas presents, a tub of Chanel hand cream for her favourite Aunt and a green cashmere roll-neck sweater for herself. As she walked home after work Erin smiled at the Christmas lights adorning the streets and people rushing home with bags full of last-minute Christmas gifts for their families and friends. When she arrived at the Rosemont a rotund woman in her sixties, a long-term tenant who held raucous bridge parties in her apartment every Wednesday night had managed to get both heels of her two sizes-too small, red patent leather shoes stuck deep inside the infamous cracks in the Terrazzo tiled floor. By the time Erin arrived the woman’s eyes were coal-black like a panda where her mascara had bled from crying and her feet had swollen so much that two Firemen had to cut her out of her ill-fitting shoes. As the woman sobbed uncontrollably and other tenants of the Rosemont looked on horrified, some dressed up to the nines and on their way out for Christmas drinks, others dressed in fancy dress costume it reminded Erin of one of the ridiculous, out of control scenes from the film “The Party” starring Peter Sellars.

Back in the quiet and solitude of the apartment Erin found a note on the kitchen table from Sean: “I’m at my work Christmas party drinks. Don’t expect me home until the morning. Sean.” Erin kicked off her shoes and tried on her new cashmere sweater. Then she packed her bags and wrote Sean a note:

“Dear Sean, do you remember Moloko, the band who sang ‘Sing it Back’ where the lead singer dances around in the music video in a 1920’s flapper-style mini-dress made of tiny square mirrors? Lately I feel as if you and I are starting to resemble another one of their songs called ‘Bankrupt Emotionally’, so metaphorically speaking I am filing for Chapter 11 on our relationship and moving on. I’ve left my half of the rent for the next two months on the kitchen table in a red envelope. Oh and your Mother can have her DustBuster back too. Erin.”

Erin stuck her good-bye note to the fridge with a magnet Sean’s parents had bought them from Hawaii which said “ike’ oe mahope”, Hawaiian for “see you next time”.

Image: Steven Meisel, Andy Warhol Museum, Vogue Italia 1996. Visit: warhol.org and vogue.it

MOZART IN THE JUNGLE ON AMAZON

I’m so in love with this show and devastated it’s been cancelled so maybe I’ll just have to watch seasons one to four all over again. Bingeing on the sex, drugs, love, ambition, ego and classical music of Mozart in the Jungle.

Mozart in the Jungle, created by Alex Timbers, Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. Starring Gael García Bernal, Lola Kirke, Saffron Burrows, Bernadette Peters and Malcolm McDowell.

Inspired by the book “Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music” by oboist Blair Tindall and produced by Picrow for Amazon Studios.

JASMINE CRISP

I visited my hometown Adelaide in South Australia over the weekend and like most I ended my stay at Adelaide Airport on Monday morning, waiting for the fog to lift and the departure boards to announce the time of my delayed flight back to Melbourne. Rather than use this time to scroll though social media, take a nap on an uncomfortable airport departure lounge seat, or yell at airline staff who have absolutely no control over the weather, I chose to take in “She Talks to Rainbows”, one of four annual curated Art Exhibitions in Terminal 1 at Adelaide Airport, which brings together the works by seven South Australian Women Artists, including this incredibly rich and layered work by Jasmine Crisp which I couldn’t stop looking at and kept coming back to.

Image: Her Rituals Commenced After Five 2018, oil on canvas by Jasmine Crisp

She Talks To Rainbows, curated by Carollyn Kavanagh, showing at Adelaide Airport until 4th July 2018 and featuring art by:

Annette Bezos
Jasmine Crisp
Kate Kurucz
Julia Townsend
Laura Wills
Margaret Worth
Eleanor Zecchin

Visit Jasmine Crisp at: jasminelcrisp.com and @jasmine_crisp on Instagram.

Visit: adelaideairport.com.au