Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: fashion icon?


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is pretty hilarious. The second season has just debuted on Netflix and I binge watched it all in about two days!

Aside from the funniest jokes, gags and witty dialogue, I found myself wanting to inject lots of colour into my wardrobe- and it is all thanks to Kimmy! My wardrobe is one of classic pieces and I stick to the basics. Black, white, grey and the humble striped tee shirt are all living in my closet, and if you did a quick poll amongst my friends, they probably wouldn't be able to tell you when I wore something that wasn't outside these hues.

So Kimmy, what have you done! I want to buy brightly coloured jeans, tee shirts with pattern and flashing sneakers. I want to embrace the fun fashion of the 90s, and go all out some sparkle.

Kimmy's often eccentric wardrobe choices can be attributed to her escape from the bunker, the confines of her regimented life stripped away in favour of a new and exciting life in glossy New York. Working for a high maintenance society girl has little influence on Kimmy's sartorial choices, and the character of Jacqueline also has an influence on the 'sensible' side of my fashion interests.

Kimmy's style can be found in shops like Uniqlo, Kate Spade and Coach - all realms where fashion and fun mix. We've seen flowers, birds and geometric shapes in all of these stores, and high end designers like Anya Hindmarch have also been quick to embrace the fun of patches and over the top keyrings in various past and present collections.

Fashion is meant to be fun and used as a way to express character. Whilst I wouldn't meet a client with a pair of bright purple jeans, I will be having a little more fun in my everyday, off duty wardrobe. Thanks Kimmy!

Miller's Collectables Handbook & Price Guide 2016-2017


I've been a collector for as long as I can remember, and the Miller's Handbook is my bible. Whether you're new to antiques collecting or consider yourself a bit of an expert, make sure you get your hands on the Miller's Collectables Handbook & Price Guide for 2016-2017.

Featuring more than 4,000 objects in full colour, each with a detailed description and current price range, the book also offers what those in the know look for - how to spot that rare example that may be worth twenty times more than another piece. Meanwhile, in-depth closer look features explain what to look for when appraising everything from 20th century glass to posters.

Every image is changed for every edition to keep the book up-to-date with collecting and buying trends. Miller's Collectables Handbook & Price Guide 2016-2017 is the only full- colour, fully-illustrated collectables price guide in the world. Comprehensive sections cover advertising, books, ceramics, glass, metalware, pens and writing equipment, plastics and Bakelite, posters, sporting memorabilia, teddy bears, toys and games and vintage fashion. This year, special sections focus on affordable jewellery, Hornsea ceramics and tribal art.

Judith Miller is the industry's ultimate expert, and she co-founded the Miller's Antiques Price Guide in 1979. She is a regular expert on Antiques Roadshow and is a regular contributor to publications such as Homes & Antiques and House & Garden. Mark Hill was a specialist for international auctioneers Bonhams and Sotheby's before becoming Director of an online antiques and collectables trading website, running its alliance with Ebay Live Auctions. He is an expert on the BBC Antiques Roadshow.

So if you are looking to become serious about collecting then make sure you pick up your copy! Thanks to Octopus Books for sending me an advance copy of the book.

Alan Tanksley Q&A


Alan Tanksley by Richard Shultz
When Alan Tanksley’s own Manhattan apartment, with its view of the Empire State Building from the  living  room  and  shower,  appeared  both  on  the  cover of  Metropolitan  Home  and  in the pages  of  Elle  Decor  Magazine,  the  designer’s  extraordinary  skill  at  blending  furniture, furnishings   and   art   from   virtually   every   era   drew   international  acclaim.  

This   same extraordinary  vision  and  highly  personalized  style  characterize  every  one  of  Mr. Tanksley’s timeless designs for a most appreciative clientele both in the United States and abroad.

Mr.  Tanksley  and  his  staff  of  ten  are  among  America’s  leading  practitioners  of  residential design  and  of  detailed  interior  space  planning  and  custom  furniture  and  fixture  design.

Renowned  as  an  expert  colorist,  Mr.  Tanksley  creates  shimmering  palettes  that  ultimately manage to make every  interior space  both exciting and relaxing simultaneously – a  must  for his demanding,  highly  exclusive  clients.    His  day-to-day  working  relationships  with  such leading architects  as  Maya  Lin  and  Robert  Orr  give  the  firm  the  unusual  ability  to  draw  on expert talents  to  implement  a  wide  range  of  architectural  renovations  for  each  project  that  it undertakes. Prior to founding his own firm in 1993, Alan Tanksley was a partner in another firm and was previously  an  associate  with  the  distinguished  designer  Mark  Hampton.  

He  worked  closely with  Mr.  Hampton  on  the  design  and  supervision  of  many  of  the company’s  most  notable residential  projects.    Mr.  Tanksley  is  a  graduate  of  Arizona  State University’s  School  of Architecture specializing in interior architecture. Among  Alan  Tanksley, Inc.’s  elite  clientele  are  Paul  Simon,  John  Bartlett,  Ambassador Edward Elson, Lionel Pincus, Jane Pauley & Garry Trudeau, Gilles Mendel, Goldman Sachs Company and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Check out my exclusive Q&A with Alan Tanksley below.

What first attracted you to to design? 

I can't say that I can pinpoint one thing that first attracted me to design. Like may others it seems that something was inside me from the very start, perhaps the same way others are drawn to sports or science or any other passion before they knew enough to consciously pursue it., Fortunately, both my parents were very curious people by nature and due to my father being a commercial pilot we travelled fairly extensively.  An appreciation for history, architecture, nature and art were organically imbued in use as we accompanied them from place to place and they shared their love for such things with.

What inspires you in your creative process? 

The environment I'm given to work with, along with my clients' stated desires kick off the search for creative solutions. Most often my initial goal is to organize an environment to a place that is innately compelling and approachable. Whether it be a house, a room or a table top vignette my goal is always the same, to make the user feel

What have been the highlights and challenges throughout your design career?

To begin, I had the good fortune to start my career in the office of Mark Hampton, one of the masters of 20th century design. With Mr. Hampton I was introduced to a world of design and a lifestyle that opened my eyes to the limitless adventures that can be experienced through the business of design and decoration. One of the big downers has been the times when working with clients who approach the process from an adversarial, small minded point of view. That's a guarantee for a joyless, soul crushing experience. There's simply not enough time available to squander it on any such relationship.

What have been the best projects you’ve worked on?

The projects that truly stand out have been the result of working relationships with people who've participated and communicated with me in an enthusiastic and collaborative manner and who have a respectful understanding of the complex, often challenging processes required to accomplish something truly great.  Some of the stand outs include residences in Snowmass, Vail and Telluride, Colorado as well as a modern ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

What projects are you currently working on?

We are extremely busy right now with three exceptional residences in the Boston area, combining two apartments in NYC to create a single, full floor apartment and an extraordinary project in one of New York's most recognizable buildings.

You’ve designed for many ‘celebrity’ clients and famous faces. Which of these projects have been the most fun? 

I've worked with a handful of well known people, the most visible being the singer and songwriter Paul Simon for whom I worked on his Manhattan and Montauk residences. However, as far as fun goes I have a long and very friendly working relationship with Garry Trudeau and Jane Pauley on their NYC residence.

Which is your favorite design style/period? 

Now, because I have the luxury of working in any period should I have the opportunity to or, more likely, enjoy the challenge of artfully moving among several periods within the same environment.

Who would be your dream client?

As long as we're daydreaming, Mame Dennis, the fictional character who lived at One Beekman Place. Not only was she smart and funny and glamorous she completely changed the decoration of her massive apartment on a regular basis.

Other than her I'd be very pleased to have more of the of people I'm currently working for. I'm very fortunate, they're an ideal assortment of clients.

Our City, Our Story: September 11 Memorial Podcast


Our City. Our Story. profiles engaging New York personalities, from the everyday to the very well-known, examining the place that 9/11 has taken in the greater context of their lives. Through these stories we see how New Yorkers, and the city itself, responded, coped and persevered. The series is hosted by Jenny Pachucki, an oral historian, and is produced by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center.

With testimonies from survivors, reporters, elected officials and filmmakers, this is one podcast you should be subscribing too.

Grace and Frankie


So I'm pretty much obsessed with Grace and Frankie. The Netflix comedy is out of this world, and aside from the hilarious storylines, great characters and amazing Californian homes, the fashion is pretty ace too!

My style is classic with a twist, and the fashion sense of Grace Hanson (Jane Fonda) and daughter Brianna Hanson (June Diane Raphael) are my particular favourites.

Popped collars, Ralph Lauren and classic pieces perfectly sum up the wardrobe of Fonda's character. A businesswoman by trade, Grace is the epitome of WASP chic. From cashmere wraps, patterned shirts and a great pair of black boots (NEED,) Grace's style is an easy one to fall in love with.

Her daughter Brianna echoes much of her mother's style, but does it with a modern twist. The snarkiest character on the show, Brianna wears lots of power pieces, such as a rocking cape and tailored dresses. She opts for bright colours and her dress sense echoes her bold character!

Some Grace and Frankie style is sneaking into my wardrobe - roll on new episodes for more laughs and fashion inspiration!


One Beat Designs Mlekoshi playground