Friday, 23 August 2013

Girls in Fast Cars

My latest blog for the FT's How To Spend It is on vintage cars. I spent an afternoon at Hexagon Classics in South Kensington and wanted to include a few more shots of the beautiful motors I saw there. In the blog I mention several famous women who loved their cars - and I couldn't resist adding a couple more photos and video clips to this post! An illustrated appendix, if you like. 

The 1963 Ferrari 250 GTE

In the blog I mention Twiggy's cameo in The Blues Brothers movie. She pulls up to a service station in a metallic E-Type and before too long Elwood is asking her out on a date. 

British actress Dame Diana Rigg was one of the first women on screen to be associated with cars. As Emma Peel in The Avengers, she drove a beautiful Lotus Elan...

On the big screen she became a Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, playing Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo. Teresa goes by 'Tracy' because she feels 'Teresa' does not suit her (as she introduced herself to Bond, 'Teresa is a saint; I'm known as Tracy'). In addition to being the only Bond girl to actually marry 007, she got to whizz around in a Mercury Cougar XR7:

One of the most beautiful classic cars on screen is the 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster driven by Kelly McGillis in Top Gun:

I saw a similar model at the Vintage at Goodwood Festival a couple of years ago, having travelled down there with Juno Says Hello alumna Nash Jones (pictured). Sadly ours is the car on the right!

Elsewhere in my blog for the FT I mention Diana Dors' stunning 1949 Delahaye Roadster, which sold for $3m to a private collector in 2010. 

Marilyn Monroe was another Hollywood star with a beautiful motor. She used to roar around in a 1954 Cadillac... 

Sophia Loren had her 1955 Mercedes SL Gullwing... 

Rita Hayworth had a 1941 Lincoln Continental... 

Paulette Goddard (Mrs Charlie Chaplin) stepping into her Rolls Royce Phantom II...

One photographer who really loved shooting fashion alongside cars was John Rawlings. Here is a selection of his remarkable images, most of them from Vogue magazine archives: 

I'm not sure who took this photograph but I love how it captures swinging 1960s London: 

Kate Moss runs around town in a beautiful Mercedes SL Pagoda:

Hexagon Classics have a slightly different model - the Mercedes 190 SL - available at their South Kensington showroom at the moment. It's absolutely stunning: 

I think the first time I paid attention to cars was when my great aunt - Auntie Mel - showed me photographs from her time living in the United States. 

Check out the leopard print seats...!

She left behind this beautiful 1969 Mercedes SL when she passed away:

I'm trying to look cool and relaxed here but I was on my way to the dentist to have a root canal (glam) and in such a foul mood! My father has lovingly restored the car to its former glory and it is now in incredible condition. As a tall person it feels strange to be so low to the ground - I can barely see over the steering wheel - but it is a joy to drive. 

Read my full blog on cars for the FT here

Monday, 12 August 2013

Retro manicures: Dietrich to von Teese

The right dress is just a starting point. Perfume, jewellery and a killer manicure finish an outfit. Here is our selection of the finest talons from films, magazines and runway shows. Enjoy.

Rita Hayworth in 1941 movie Blood and Sand 

Vogue, 1952

Bette Davis painting her nails, 1939

Beauty editorial from Vogue, 1956

Diana Dors 

Lucille Ball 

Jean Harlow's Art Deco manicure

Victoria von Hagen in Vogue, 1952

Joan Crawford with her femme fatale nails

Beauty pages from Vogue, 1952

A fantastic trashy novel cover from 1959. Ladies take note - if you want to be badass, you need a decent manicure. 

Marlene Dietrich was famous for her long fingers and beautiful nails. The scene in Blue Venus where she pulls off the hand of her gorilla suit to reveal a lily-white hand caused a scandal at the time. Check out the video here - the big reveal happens around 2min35. 


Suzy Parker

Would you mess with this woman?

Nail polish ad photographed by John Rawlings

And 21st century women wear it well... 

Blake Lively with her half-moon nails

Nail art queen Rihanna with her reverse tips. Love the fur!

Lana del Rey tried a similar look for Vogue magazine in 2011

Adele with her red-backed 'Louboutin' manicure

The mistress of retro nails, Dita von Teese

DvT: never knowingly underdressed 

Nicola Roberts's heart-shape manicure 

The proliferation of digital cameras backstage at fashion shows mean that no detail goes unnoticed. Here is a selection of images from recent designer collections: 

Backstage at Vena Cava

The finished result 

Donna Karan 

Jason Wu


Badgley Mischka

Nail kit backstage at PPQ


Philip Lim 

Behnaz Sarafpour 

Glamour Magazine, France 

Alessandro dell'Acqua's bags do the hard work for you

Our next ten online customers will receive a bottle of Chanel nail polish in Pirate with their order. To visit our e-boutique, please click here

Looking for more inspiration? This link has 50 photos of amazing half-moon manicures.