Bally: The Sweater Look

Bally Fall 2014 
This ivory cable-knit pullover look was all it took for me to take note of Bally’s autumn/winter line as one of the truly ready-to-wear collections of the season. A high quality basic piece stands on its own, but good styling is what will transcend relaxed dressing. A chunky turtleneck atop a shirt with its cuffs peaking from underneath the rolled up pullover sleeves, and tucked in a pencil skirt with pockets? Now that is instantly updated work wear – wouldn’t you rather want to be part of the artier crowd even if you work in a corporate environment?

Sweaters of all kinds make up for a large part of my winter wardrobe, but I do like to put a little extra effort into elevating them. For one, I don’t like the V-neck sweater-shirt combination, too obvious a choice. I believe it’s best for the skin to show from under a V-neck – an elegant woolen scarf (don’t wrap it around your neck, let it to hang loose instead) will keep you warm and look much more sophisticated. But a shirt with a cashmere turtleneck, with only its sleeves showing, now that is completely different. As for a boat neck sweater, I am not saying no to matching it to a shirt, as the pairing renders a timeless, preppy appeal, but again, it helps if you allow yourself to play a little with the details. In short, this Bally campaign is worth paying attention to.
Bally Fall 2014 ad campaign-2

Bally Fall 2014 ad campaign-1

Bally Fall 2014 ad campaign-3

Bally Fall 2014 ad campaign

photos:, Bally Autumn/Winter 2014 / 2-5: Pinterest/Bally

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I already had the Danish brand Skagen on my radar, but when my mother (encouraged by me, I admit) bought herself one of their watches when she last visited me about two weeks ago, I knew it was going to be a matter of time until I got something for myself as well. I am now in the phase of choosing what, which is never an easy task for me when there are quite a few pieces I’m musing about, watches in particular, of course, but also jewellery (and even handbags – the Anja wool tote with leather trims is particularly appealing). Simplicity, craftsmanship and functionality are the qualities that stem from every piece. The streamlined, minimalist Scandinavian design meets style that stands the test of time, and that can be the very definition of modern elegance.


photos: Skagen Lookbook Fall 2014

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Me: Stories of My Life, by Katharine Hepburn

Me-Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn 
Undoubtedly, one of the best things to do on a cold autumn weekend day is to curl up on the sofa with a good book in hand, a cosy pashmina, scented candles and a warm drink close by. I have recently finished reading Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life, and what I loved the most about it was how Katharine’s personality, the way it has been shaped up to me in time, clearly shines through. It’s obvious that the book was written by the actress herself. Genuine, honest, casual and very blunt, very Katharine Hepburn. As the author says in the beginning, this is not a minute recounting of her life and career. It is a gathering of stories (accompanied by many never before published photos) about her childhood and family, her early life in New York and her movie and theater career, of places, events and people who left a mark on her. It has a different, fast-paced, meandering structure, and I liked that, as it’s very befitting of its author.

There are indeed a few sequences that felt completely wrong, like a very strange dialogue between her and screenwriter William Rose, but I can overlook those. Yes, I am a fan of Hepburn’s movies, and of Hepburn herself, and the fact that this very private person, unconventional movie star and enduring all-American style figure finally opens up about some very vague aspects of her life makes this book such a rare and valuable thing.

Katharine Hepburn wanted to be an actress and she fearlessly and uncompromisingly set out to become one in an industry that wanted greatness on its own terms and that often tried to destroy the original few. Self confidence was something she always had plenty of, and didn’t that show on screen? She wanted greatness on her own terms and that’s why everything was mainly about her – “me”. And that’s also exactly why I found the part where she talks about Spencer Tracey, the man she shared her life with for almost 30 years, until his death, all the more endearing and surprising. She completely and unconditionally devoted herself to him and that’s the “me” that completes her larger than life persona, and it’s wonderful to get the whole picture.

photo by me

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Bringing Up Baby

Bringing Up Baby 
by guest writer

Bringing Up Baby (1938) is a mad, mad, mad comedy, in the best possible sense. Just another hilarious example of American screwball comedy by author Howard Hawks. With a wonderful screenplay by Dudley Nichols and Hagar Wilde, the movie impresses with its slapstick sharp and intelligent lines. It feels like a frantic ride that will keep you alert and laughing from beginning to end. A paleontologist, David (Cary Grant), finds himself in front of a unique phase of his life: completing a missing bone for a million years old dinosaur and trying to secure an important donation from a wealthy philanthropist. All seems to start going wrong when he meets Susan (Katharine Hepburn), a young, attractive woman with a notch of trouble coming everywhere she goes. To all this, add a baby leopard sent from Susan’s brother for her aunt that needs to be taken care of and you’ll work up the laughs yourselves. Russell Metty’s cinematography and George Hively’s editing help to create this chaotic feeling that fills the movie all the way.

photo: movie still | RKO

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My Pick-Me-Up for Bad Weather

Massimo Dutti Fall 2014 
After months of wearing greys, browns, navy, black and khaki, two weeks of gloomy weather without a sign of sun finally did it and they are forcing me to reconsider my colour palette for the cold season. This beautiful burgundy velvet blazer (it seems to be only available in emerald green – not bad at all either, and camel now) is already in constant rotation. Not only is its jewel colour just the right pick-me-up for me, but the rich fabric offers an elevated finish to a day-to-day outfit without much effort. I have the feeling that my holidays look will revolve around this piece. Layers of burgundy do not sound bad at all either. Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

photo: Massimo Dutti Equestrian Collection Fall/Winter 2014

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The Art of Gifting

The Art of Gifting 
As the holidays are approaching and many of us like to do the shopping in advance (I think it’s wise to do so, so that you can properly enjoy the month of December without having to face the stress of last minute shopping), I wanted to share a few thoughts on giving gifts. You won’t find here any gift lists – I often consider them useless and I usually fail to see anything but their commercial side. A gift is something very personal, something that should be shaped on the personality and tastes of the future recipient, and I don’t think drawing up endless shopping guidelines is very helpful in trying to find that special something for the ones we love.

A comment from Lauren Bacall’s autobiography comes to my mind, saying that Bogart hated calendar occasions, like Christmas, and considered to be much more fun and meaningful to buy a gift for no reason at all (so very Bogie!). I agree, that kind of a token of love and appreciation is all the more special and always pleases me more. But I also agree that a Christmas present thoughtfully chosen and given from the heart can be just as appreciated and welcome. It doesn’t have to be spectacular or expensive to make an impression, but you have to put your heart into it. It always shows, regardless of how insignificant it may seem.
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Posted by classiq in Beautiful Living, Christmas | | 6 Comments