Friday, July 16, 2010

A Shopping Spree--Roses and Garden Fresh

I was delighted to find Christina Strutt's wonderful Cabbages and Roses online. Her shops in London feature clothing and home furnishings made in England and Wales. Victoria readers might remember Christina's name in some of the wonderful stories we reported from Great Britain. In her recent book, At Home with Country, she came across the pond to photograph both the New York City Studio of Tricia Foley (Trish to all who know and love her) and her picture perfect Long Island home.

Christina's fabrics remind one of the casual elegance of an English garden. And the photographs in the book as well as the wares for sale on the web site are a testament to the specialness of English interiors. When I looked at the fabrics, I was inspired to do some redecorating of my own--if only a few new pillows for sofas and beds. I really do have a passion for pillows. (I guess I could be investing in worse things!) You can really change the look and feel of a room, especially a bedroom with fresh fabrics.

Closer to home--when I'm in my New York digs--is the distinctive stock of Kristin Clotilde. But for those of you who want to experience it online, you're in for a treat. The home page is pure fun for shoppers. You'll see how this former Ralph Lauren model is spending her time these days. By the way, she and her twins once modeled for us in Victoria. KC is a firm believer in dresses! Remember those? The garments you can twirl in? Her stock in trade has a 50's feel--an Anne Fogarty appeal.

It's on my to do list to drive over to Larchmont and actually visit the shop. In the Thursday New York Times there's an article on how French women age beautifully. One of the things mentioned is that they are more dress-oriented than we are in America. I have to admit that dresses are not exactly a major item in my closet. But I'm very tempted to make a change to skirts and dresses this coming season.

That article has some good hints, including those from Leslie Caron. Leslie gave me her advice years ago--cold showers! And what I've observed myself of her dressing is well-tailored clothes in rich, deep colors and wonderful accessories. That scarf is really a big thing among French women as is beautiful costume jewelry--or the real thing is pocket books permit. I was in Barneys New York this week before going to my dentist. (I accuse him of being in a disaster zone for my pocket book.) I saw wonderful large-beaded necklaces with luxurious ribbon ties by Lanvin. Now that's a way to spruce up some of the beads in the bottom of the jewelry box.

And for a pure fun summer moment, spend some time on Lexington Company's site. These folks come out of Sweden, but have a real feel for what an All-American summer can be like. I feel myself on my knees digging for clams on Long Island Sound like I did when I was a kid.

Refresh and enjoy!


  1. What a lovely post! Full of very interesting and useful nuggets. One thing I appreciated most about Victoria was its support of women as entrepreneurs. I sometimes look to see if one mentioned years back is still doing well.
    Also, there's definitely a lot to learn from French women. We all, I think, need to take stock of our personal care routines - to put more emphasis on taking good care of ourselves!
    Thank you for sharing these lovely thoughts,
    God Bless,

  2. This was such fun, Nancy...I did read that article and was hoping you'd share some Leslie thoughts when I read her comments. Cold showers? Really? YIKES! WEll, I'm game for anything that will help me look as marvelous as she does (maybe lukewarm would work?). I have recently converted to wearing dresses over shorts or slacks in warm weather...they are so much cooler and allow a gal to feel like, well, a woman!
    The French issues of Victoria were always among my favorites...there is no doubt that French women know the secret of great skin is scruptulous care (egad, that can't be spelled right). When I was in Paris and London a few years back, I noticed that women wore FAR more skirts than here in the was really obvious. And charming!

    Twirling along in my vintage skirts,
    Karen Marline

  3. Oh, so much beauty and lovely reconnections here, Nancy! I adore all things Cabbages and Roses and, of course, all things Tricia Foley. But the icing on the cake for me is the introduction to Kristin's site. She's my favorite Ralph Lauren model ever and I still have plenty of clippings from her ads. And her shop looks heavenly – I love that I see so many pretty dresses on women again these days. As always, thank you for the inspiration and beauty.

  4. This post is FULL of funny coincidences!!! Let's see...

    I was just thinking about you, yesterday. I've moved all of my Vicotrias downstairs. (Ooh, what a funny image that would be if you didn't know it was a magazine.) I have a new camera and want to look closer at the photographs to see what I can learn. I have a theory that 80% of blogging is just trying to fill the hole left in us without it. Well, I thought of you and wondered how your travels were going (or had gone). We haven't heard from you for a while. Poof! Here is this post. =]

    When I bought your book, I was, also, hoping to buy another book about a woman who volunteered as a gardener in Monet's garden. Well, I bought your book a couple of months ago but didn't get this one until YESTERDAY and, with that very shipment, came Christina Strutt's book. I just recently was looking through an old Vic. and realized that one of my favorite articles was on her home. (Lots of plaid and, was there a tree house?)I hadn't realized that was her until just recently. Also, yesterday, I was thinking about Tricia Foley and trying to photograph her book, "Having Tea". It's the best! I haven't had a chance to do more than glance at her book (CS that is) but noticed and was surprised that some were American. It all makes sense, now.

    Well, now, in one of my old Victorias, there was, also, and article about a beautiful french woman and about their easy elegance and how beautifully they age. (I don't remember her name but she had legs a mile long!) When I was younger, I just blipped through the article. I read it but I was too young to understand. Reading that article in the past year and a half has actually made a difference in who I am and how I approach things. (You'd THINK that I'd remember her name!)

    Anyway, I will get around to putting my little two cents in on your book. You'd never know that I had trouble finding a flow of words. When it really, really matters, I get a bit overwhelmed (hope you know what I mean by that.) Waiting for the muse.... I just wish that more had taken up your challenge to write about it. Maybe I should go back and see if there are more contributions. It's a great subject.

    And, where would I be without skirts and dresses?

    Love, Katy Noelle

  5. Oh, what a pretty post! I have Christina's earlier Vintage Style books published by Country Living and love them. I will shortly order this new one. How can one go wrong with Tricia Foley's house featured?! Her style is timeless and so lovely.
    Nancy, you recently wrote on your Hooker furniture blog that you gave a homeowner "permission" to do something. Well, is Christina Strutt giving us permission to throw a tablecloth on a table un-ironed? Hurray!
    I purchased a beaded "pearl" necklace with a ribbon closure at Nordstrom's a few weeks back and think it's such a charming style. I enjoyed seeing the Lanvin design pictured in your post.
    Thanks for the eye candy!


  6. TY Nancy ~Giving me reason to go ahead & buy that dress & skirt I was looking at ... love the shop & pretty dresses/fabrics.

    Love the english look fabric selections, so romantic.

    So enjoyed your write today ...
    Now I am going to peak around at your suggested places.

    Have a lovely weekend.
    TTFN~ Marydon

  7. Bonjour Nancy,
    Just found you pretty blog. Cabbages and Roses is very popular here in France. You've inspired so many of us with Victoria. Perhaps that is why so many in blogland are launching online magazines, myself included. I'm off now to find a copy of your latest book, My First Best Friend - sounds lovely.
    I'm a new follower.
    Bon week-end,

  8. Thank you for such lovely links. I wish I was closer to the dress shop. I would seriously stop in for a closer look at a few of those.

    I agree about the dresses and skirts and would love to wear those nearly exclusively. I adore wearing my scarves and always get a compliment or 3 when I do. I too think the ribbon could be a way to refresh a necklace or two.

  9. How fun to go shopping with you this morning. Loved it all, but especially was drawn to the look of Lexington. Lexington has definitely captured the look of Americana. What a clever necklace idea too. And I always love visiting Tricia Foley. Thanks!

  10. Hello Nancy & all!- I really enjoyed reading this post.It is so full of good info and much like reading a Victoria!.- I put the "At Home with Country" book on my wishlist.-need to wait as I too am paying lots of money for Dental work,-but I'm excited to read it, I love all of the books by Trish Foley-I really admire her,- so I am especially curious to see the Interior pics of her home.

    Love the necklace idea by Lanvin- I strung a large blue heart pendant once ,using a black velvet ribbon,instead of the chain to match my dress after I saw the movie, "The Titanic". I think the Lanvin one pictured here is so pretty! I am going to show this to a good friend that does beadwork and see if she would make them.It is so pretty!

    I enjoyed the article about how French women age beautifully!- lol especially right now as I broke out in a terrible rash from trying yet another "Miracle Cream" -I better stick with the kind I have used for years...

    The Lexington brand of furniture I have always liked- Wasn't that one of the brands that was advertised in your beautiful Victoria magazine? Speaking of beautiful dreamy photos of Interiors-- On page 8 of the current issue of Hoffmans Victoria- she mentions that sometime in late July ,there is a special series of publications available that features the beautiful photography that was in the older Victoria magazines. I am excited to see it, even though I do have every issue of Victoria -old & new from all that were published-- a "little bird"-lol told me that it will hit
    the newstands on July 27th- and is called "Victoria,Rooms of Bliss". Almost all of my Interior Design dreams & aspirations came from reading "your" Victoria mag, & of course all of the Design books by the Editors of Victoria!-I'm really excited to see which Victoria Photos are in it and maybe there might be some new ones to drool over too!--xo-,Valery

  11. I have so loved all the wonderful postings by the "lovers of Victoria." Nancy, each posting seems to send me running to sites such as Cabbages and Roses. I am most happy when I am surrounded by a touch of roses in each room of my home. Your Victoria came into my life at a time when I was ready to line my empty nest with beauty and a serene haven. I love all of the Victorias, but I was always drawn to the roses, June weddings, summer seasides, and trips abroad. Each and every issue continues to give me joy and pleasure.

    Valery, You can imagine my excitement when I found "Victoria Classics, Rooms of Bliss" this weekend at Walmart. (I live in a small midwestern town of 8,000 and sadly the only "bookstore" in town is Walmart) All I had to see was two words, "Toshi Otsuki" on the cover. With several cups of tea and little else I have lovingly scanned each lovely page. They have approximately 65 pages of Toshi's work, which is almost half of the magazine. Pure joy!

    Nancy,thank you for taking the time to share with us again. I have little chance of seeing some of your wonderful finds, but you do bring them to life for us. I would love for you to have a book signing at Indianapolis or Evansville, IN where the real bookstores are and I would be there in a heartbeat. Jean

  12. Jean- I did get a copy of it lastnight- and only read the first 12 pages so far. It is so outstanding, I want to wait and cherish each lovely page as soon as I get done refurbishing yet another Antique.{kind of a reward thing for me}-lol.-

    Interesting - in the intro-,"Dear Friends",- she says that she and her staff opened archived boxes of Toshi's work from older Victoria magazines,& that she wanted to share the riches! What fun that must have been to look through those treasure chests!-

    I feel so blessed to have Nancy's Victorias in my life- and also this blog to hear from her- just think, too- this treasure chest of his work wouldn't even exist without our precious Nancy!--Love,Valery

  13. I was so glad to learn that the earlier photographs and treasures have been saved. It is difficult to explain to others how much we love and cherish our Victorias. I felt an emotional bond when I found my first issue. Nancy and her staff seemed to tap into the gentle and serene side of life I had always been seeking. Toshi's photos are true art treasures, but they added the dialogue to bring them to life--a perfect marriage.

    Everyone have a beautiful and blissful day.

  14. Hello Nancy!
    I am so glad to have found you!
    The minute I saw your name...I knew who you were! It was like one of my favorite long lost friends had found her way back into my life!
    I have been a fan of the early Victoria's since the premiere issue!
    I am even more thrilled with being able to see your latest adventures unfold here on the pages of your blog!
    I am in love with these fabrics from Cabbages and Roses! They are so timeless...elegant.
    Something I myself am drawn to with each passing year.
    Thank you for sharing this new book...I will have to go to the bookstore first thing and get a copy for myself!
    Have a wonderful evening!

  15. What a wonderful surprise to have found you!! I saw your blog listed in another blog's favorites list and thought, no, that can't be - isn't that the orginal Victoria editor? And lo and behold, it is the very same. I am so tickled to have found your blog and website - it's like finding a long lost friend (even though we've never met). :) Victoria magazine is STILL my all-time favorite magazine. I am slowly but surely buying all the early issues I missed on eBay. It's wonderful how timeless it is. And the books - simply gorgeous. I refer to them regularly on my bookshelf. I suppose I have rambled enough - I shall now I have sit down tonight with a cup of tea and catch up on what you've been up to. Thank you so much for all the work you did on bringing Victoria magazine to life.