Seeking the Unique
Lisa Borgnes Giramonti, whose endlessly chic blog, A Bloomsbury Life, is a longstanding favorite of W editors, is back for a second stint on our Editors’ Blog. (See her previous blogs here.) This time around, she’s sharing her resolutions for 2010—and the elegant accoutrements she’s found to help her achieve them. Check back here every Friday for Lisa’s weekly installments.
Part Two: I resolve to seek the unique.
Out with the bland, in with the unusual. I’m not interested in amassing anymore—my post-recession budget and a closet heaving with barely-used “It” bags have put a stop to that. If I’m going to buy something now, it needs to wow me on a visceral level. The following picks pass my ‘gut test’ because they have either an uber-distinct sensibility or offer a rebellious spin on an old classic.
This 1960′s medallion necklace from V Vintage is all that’s required to turn any outfit into something spectacular. Made of Bakelite enamel with a bamboo-style chain link, it’s one of those rare pieces that transcends trends. (And, FYI, it bears more than a passing resemblance to Julia Robert’s neckwear at the Golden Globes.) Wear it with anything and let the accolades roll in. vvintage90210.com
When I made a long-anticipated pilgrimage to Charleston House (home to the Bloomsbury Group) last year and spotted this deckchair inspired by an old Penguin book cover, I knew I wasn’t leaving without one. Purchase a cluster of them and tell your friends that Virginia Woolf, Graham Greene and Raymond Chandler are waiting for them in the back garden. It’s—sorry, I have to say it—novel seating. bloomsburystore.com
I’m always on the hunt for a beautiful sachet and this satin one featuring a portrait of Mrs. “Liberty of London” fulfills my requirements for style with substance. Supremely silky and filled with aromatic lavender, it imparts an invigorating kick to any closet or drawer. Plus, lavender’s calming properties make it a perfect travelling companion: rest it on your eyelids when you’re in seat 47J and circling La Guardia airport. liberty.co.uk
I’m a Nike Shox girl (I’m addicted to the extra bit of height they give me) but am often left unmoved by the color combinations I see in stores. Problem solved. Their website allows you to completely customize your own shoe, from laces to lining to monogramming. It’s a couture freak’s dream. Look for me hiking in the Hollywood Hills in my new silvery Stella McCartney-inspired pair. nikeid.nike.com
This English game bag was designed for grouse-hunting on a country estate, but I think it’s even more stylish as a city hold-all. It has that classic ancestral allure I love—very Brideshead Revisited, no? Made of rubberized cotton and bridle leather trim, it’s weather-impermeable and will add some rugged grace to your urban jungle. smithscountrypursuits.co.uk
I’ve been reading a lot of D. H. Lawrence lately so these rustic workers’ smocks struck an immediate chord. Made from heavy unbleached linen and dating from the middle to late 1800′s, their Jane Birkin-meets-Rupert Birkin sensibility would be perfect with jeans, tousled hair and your favorite leather boots. Plus, it’s not very often you get a chance to buy an actual heirloom at high street prices. greenandstone.com
Leave it to Dame Vivienne Westwood to transform a symbol of Victorian restraint into an anarchic wallcovering. Her “Cut-out Lace” wallpaper, based on a piece of antique fabric, is both subtle and stunning and would have any wall desperate to be draped with it. It has a prim-punk sensibility, which makes sense—they don’t call Viv the Queen Mother of the Sex Pistols for nothing. cole-and-son.com
I’ve been searching for interesting outdoor seating for ages, so when I discovered these cast-stone garden poufs from Harbinger LA, I did a double-take. Seriously, how genius are they? I adore the pleated sides and witty tufted details and can envision scattering them around my pool area to create trompe l’oeil seating that you don’t have to cover when it rains. Even better, they come in 25 colors. Calm yourself. harbingerla.lucasstudioinc.com
There’s no mincing words with this table lamp: its vintage modern glamour has me at hello. The hand-rubbed brass design, meant to evoke a derrick tower, is a triumph of machine age simplicity and reminds me of a time when Hollywood was young and oil was king. Industrial, meet sophistication. circalighting.com
Who says dish towels can’t whet your appetite as well as dry the dishes? These ones from Julie Haslam do both. Inspired by her grandmother’s handwritten recipe book, she created a range of dish towels featuring the actual cooking instructions from her Nan’s most-beloved meals. Hot cross buns, anyone? juliehaslam.co.uk
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