“Properly practised, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled spirit either.” – Elizabeth Zimmermann. Collector, artist and curator Barbara Levine’s charming new photobook, ‘People Knitting: A Century of Photographs’ features a collection of fascinating vintage photographs … of people knitting. From women at the beauty parlour to soldiers detained behind enemy lines, these snapshots offer an irresistible window into a bygone era. As Levine explains in the book’s introduction: “To watch people knit is to be invited into their private world of contemplation and innermost creative expression, but at the same time, they are preoccupied – mapping out a pattern, counting a line, envisioning some future garment that you can’t imagine and may never see.” The chronological anthology charts knitting’s transformation from a virtuous and essential household craft in the late 1800s, through to patriotic demonstration of solidarity during wartime and then developing into a hobby enjoyed by movie stars and teenage girls alike in the 1950s and 60s. In the 21st Century knitting is the yoga of crafts, an active form of ‘mindfulness’ – “Om”. ‘People Knitting: A Century of Photographs’ by Barbara Levine is out now, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #barbaralevine #book #peopleknitting #knitting #vintage #photographs #pricetonarchitecturalpress

BL people knitting girl and cat

Queen Of Lace

“In lace there is an aesthetic code which is deeply embedded in every culture, in every lace we find symmetry and some kind of order and harmony. Isn’t that what we all seek for instinctively?” – NeSpoon. Polish artist NeSpoon focuses on lace motifs that cover the walls, streets, and public parks found in urban environments. The lace works are either painted directly onto the surface or formed from clay, each handmade by herself or the traditional folk artists with whom she works. The Polish street artist has been popping up everywhere with new pieces in Perth, Tunisia and Portugal. Street art itself is a relatively modern development but that doesn’t mean that it should only feature modern artistic styles. NeSpoon doesn’t limit herself to spray paint and stencils, for some pieces she has filled sidewalk cracks with cement that she then decorated with her elegant designs, for others she has created webs of actual crocheted lace doilies in public spaces. NeSpoon’s art is proof that almost any sort of artistic medium can be brought into public spaces through street art. The artworks are part of NeSpoon’s ongoing series of “public jewellery” that seeks to turn unadorned spaces and surfaces into something beautiful. Chapeau! are totes fangirls of NeSpoon. All hail the new Queen of Lace.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #nespoon #streetart #lace #urban #art #poland #publicjewellery

nespoon qol front of house

Big Little Lies

HBO has unveiled the first trailer for its prestige limited series ‘Big Little Lies’, based on the bestselling Liane Moriarty book of the same name. The EVENT series (whoo hoo!) stars Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon (who co-produce) and Shailene Woodley, with ‘Wild’ and ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ helmer Jean-Marc Vallée directing all seven episodes and David E. Kelley writing and serving as executive producer. ‘Big Little Lies’ centres on three mothers of kindergartners – Celeste (Kidman), Madeline (Witherspoon) and Jane (Woodley) whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. The simple introduction to ‘Big Little Lies’ is that it’s about the school run, the mom alliances, the politics of parenting, basically Mean Girl Moms. And that’s only a surface explanation. Underneath all the small dramas that exist within the school social order is a more complicated commentary about the ugliness that’s hidden by the desire for family perfection, the violent consequences that can result when that ugliness is exposed, and ultimately the binding community of women, within the competitive “performance art” known as motherhood. In other words, this is a story that’s 100% suited to Hollywood and the blonde star moms who rule the dinner parties. I can’t believe Gwyneth Paltrow isn’t on this show. The series also stars Adam Scott, Laura Dern and Zoë Kravitz. Big Little Lies will debut on HBO in 2017.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #biglittlelies #hbo #reecewitherspoon #nicolekidman #shailenewoodley #tv #book #lianemoriarty

BLL tv group selfie

Eye Of The Tiger

“In the early days of David Bowie’s career, I arrived at his house in Beckenham to be greeted by him with a paint brush in one hand and a cigarette in the other, he asked if he minded if he finished painting his ceiling. I ended up photographing him painting, with us both chuckling. It would be unusual for something as relaxed and un-managed as that to happen today.” – Michael Putland. British photographer Michael Putland and Proud Galleries, Camden staged a major retrospective of Putland’s images of music’s most famous faces, the Rolling Stones (for whom Putland was the official tour photographer in 1973), John Lennon, Debbie Harry, Michael Jackson, Siouxsie Sioux, Tom Waits and Bob Marley. It’s not an easy task to take candid portraits of the world’s most famous rock stars but somehow Putland managed it. There’s a warmth and intimacy to many of Putland’s images and often his most surprising shots are those he captured off-stage: Mick Jagger snuggled in a deep sleep against a fur coat draped on Bianca’s shoulder; Jerry Hall, on a plane, legs stretched out, reading a copy of Playboy with herself on the cover; John Lennon and Yoko Ono sitting on the floor of the White Room chatting idly. Putland’s favourite image? “A snatched shot in terrible light backstage at a Stones concert in New York, Bob Marley, Mick Jagger and Peter Tosh squeezed together on a sofa giving me three of the best smiles in the universe.” Putland is still busy behind the lens today and ‘Eye of a Generation’ includes some of his new work, alongside iconic images from the past five decades. Fifty years on he remains a photographer who’s busy capturing what he’s most attached to. ‘Eye of a Generation by Michael Putland’ has now finished at Proud Galleries Camden but copies of Putland’s prints are available to buy via his website.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #michaelputland #eyeofageneration #proudgalleries #proudgalleriescamden #icons #photography #music #candid

MP Marley, Jagger, Tosh

Cuppa With A Slice

Fancy a nice cuppa Oolong with a slice? That’s what you’ll get with this piece of artwork from the hands of UK artist Beccy Ridsdel. Ridsdel plays with the concept of humble crockery imbuing it with almost human qualities, layers of ‘skin’, which are peeled back. Under Ridsdel’s gaze, porcelain is ‘surgically removed’ from each piece. Ridsdel refers to these artworks as “dissections in progress”. Some of the porcelain is displayed with surgical implements to further heighten their anatomical nature. Titled ‘Under the Surface’ the ongoing series suggests each porcelain cup or plate has an internal biology of floral decorations that can be explored by removing bits of the exterior. Many of Ridsdel’s latest pieces are currently available in her online shop.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #beccyridsdel #art #porcelain #underthesurface #dissection

BR tea cup

Plants And Flowers

A gargantuan new book from Phaidon entitled ‘Plant: Exploring the Botanical World’ is out now. Long before photography, high-resolution scanning or sophisticated microscope technology could capture eye-wateringly close shots of stigma and stamen human beings have been drawn to replicate their sinuous shapes and colours for both scientific and aesthetic purposes – the proof exists in abundance, from ancient stone carvings and early watercolour paintings to explorers’ diagrams made on discovery of new terrains. ’Plant: Exploring the Botanical World’ comprises all of these and many more in gorgeous high high-resolution reproductions, coupled with fascinating stories about their origins. Highlights of the 300 botanical images include the oldest surviving medieval manuscript from 512AD, watercolours made on James Cook’s exploration of Australia and an electron micrograph scan of the cannabis plant by Ted Kinsman. Accompanying the illustrations are stories of those adventurous botanists, scientists and painters whose names and work are lesser known or have since been forgotten. Perhaps even more fascinating is the unprecedented range of artists included. Alongside the bread and butter of botanical illustration, luminaries such as Ernst Haeckel and Charles Darwin, sit Araki, Nick Knight, and Marc Quinn, resulting in a highly nuanced curation of imagery from across the ages.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #plantexpoloringthebotanicalworld #phaidon #book #plants #flowers #painting #watercolour #sketch #photography

plants and flowers book cover


“If you’re a photographer or a painter, you produce images – but when you put a hat on your head, you are telling a story.” – Stephen Jones. The renowned milliner’s new monograph ‘Souvenirs’ hits shelves charting Jone’s ascent from London club kid to fashion darling. “I didn’t want to do just another picture book, I wanted to have a good story,” and that is precisely what this new publication offers: a touchingly intimate biography told through an abundant assortment of personal keepsakes, or the eponymous ‘Souvenirs’. Contained within the book’s pages are all of the enchanting ephemera and sartorial paraphernalia that one would expect Jones to have accumulated during his illustrious career – letters from Downing Street and Grace Coddington (who also writes the introduction to the tome), sketches for the likes of John Galliano and Comme des Garçons – but equally important are the mementoes of his life outside high fashion. There are papers and photographs from his Liverpool childhood: school reports and homework diaries (“FREEDOM” is scrawled over the pages of July 1975 in one particularly good notebook), matchbooks from the infamous Blitz club where he debuted his early creations, the invitation to his graduate show at Saint Martins (a slightly battered Smarties box filled with photographs of his classmates, although he discarded those he didn’t like). Then, scraps of fabric samples embellished with sequinned tophats gifted by L’Wren Scott; an ominous portrait of Jones scrawled by his closest collaborator, Kim Bowen, on a Kettner’s tablecloth in 1988; dye tests for a dreadlocked hat for Tina Turner. ‘Souvenirs’ is written by Susannah Frankel and Jones and published by Rizzoli. It is also ceaselessly charming and a strangely relatable immersion into the life of a boy from Liverpool who happened to end up with an office at Dior.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #souvenirs #book #stephenjones #clubkid #blitzclub #liverpool #dior #london #milliner

SJ souvenir book

Alt Vision

In 1986, when Martine Sitbon started her brand, the young Parisian designer invented a bold new silhouette. It managed to be dreamlike, punk tough, glamorous and sexy all at the same time. Parkas and jumpsuits, lace layered over thick cottons, oversized pieces mixed with the shrunken, playing with proportions. Sitbon confidently and curiously mixed everything up. And of course all the cool kids collaborated with the designer – Kate Moss, Nick Knight, David Sims, Craig McDean, Kirsten Owen – alongside her husband, the art director Marc Ascoli (Sitbon and Ascoli have been together for thirty years). Sitbon helped invent and define a new approach to fashion in the 90s. From 1987 Sitbon took over the reigns at Chloé from Karl Lagerfeld until 1992 then headed to Byblos and the now-defunct Rue du Mail. Along the way Sitbon mentored both Phoebe Philo and Isabel Marant “One of my inspirations is this mixing; sports clothes with evening clothes, military coats with evening. I don’t like a total silhouette,” Sitbon explains. Sitbon’s is a look that still feels relevant today and one that resonates with both women and industry insiders with her ‘rock n romantic’ aesthetic. In Sitbon’s first-ever monograph, ‘Alternative Vision’ this mix-it-up spirit is very much evident and, as such, feels more intimate than just another glossy fashion tome, more a kind of luxe reimagining of a scrap-book. ‘Alternative Vision’ is designed by Ascoli and explores Sitbon’s archive through a mix of contributions from collaborators to never-before-seen shots and sketches. “I didn’t want to do a classic book with fashion show pictures, I wanted to do something far more personal … I really like to get my inspiration from things around me like music, art, movies. I always try to be connected with what I feel is interesting at that time. The consistent inspiration from when I started was mostly from the music: the bands, the singers. That’s what I liked when I was a teenager, it made me develop my taste, going to the flea market to find things and play around with them, men’s clothes and army clothes, more like styling in a way!” ‘Martine Sitbon: Alternative Vision’ is available now from Rizzoli books.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #martinesitbon #marcascoli #alternativevision #book #fashion #chloe #byblos #ruedumail #rizzolibooks

MS alt vision book cover

She Flies Through The Air With The Greatest Of Ease

“Cats don’t have any sense of time” – Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek. Meet Elli, Fiffy, Flitzie, Nevio and Ume the feline subjects catapulted to fame by Vienna-Berlin-Rotterdam-based photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek, who created a series of photographs capturing them jumping. Elli, Fiffy, Flitzie, Nevio and Ume leap through the air past houseplants and bookshelves, ricochet in front of a bathtub or vault towards a giant stuffed tiger, tiny paws outstretched. Contrary to popular opinion, this pounce (the collective noun for cats) is often not caught in such moments. We are simply not around to bare witness. Says Gebhart de Koekkoek “One might think these are some special cats with super power who are able to fly through their homes but they are just normal house cats, like everyone else. It’s all about making them easy and relax so they let loose.” Dedicating himself fully to this project over a long period of time Gebhart de Koekkoek hid around corners and behind large objects to capture the surreptitious shots. “I spent a few months in private sessions with all of them to establish a deep and unearthly connection before we started to even think about taking any pictures,” he explains. “After our longterm private sessions I hide myself in some secret places at their homes and wait for them to do all the magic by themselves. Sometimes this took several days. But in the end they took off, jumping, and it was easy for me to capture them.” The really good news is these fantastical feline images are available to purchase either as prints or as a handy calendar. Even better news? The cat’s welfare was Gebhart de Koekkoek’s absolute priority. “They enjoyed it a lot and also love the resulting pictures.” So do we. Miaow.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #danielgebhartdekoekkoek #flyingcats #cats #photography #art #elli #fiffy #flitzie #nevio #ume

grey cat in kitchen

Kids And Fags

“A YouTube video of a chain-smoking Indonesian toddler inspired me to create this series, ‘Smoking Kids’. The video highlighted the cultural differences between the east and west and questioned notions of smoking being a mainly adult activity. Adult smokers are the societal norm so I wanted to isolate the viewer’s focus upon the issue of smoking itself. I felt that children smoking would have a surreal impact upon the viewer and compel them to truly see the acts of smoking rather than making assumptions about the person doing the act.” – Frieke Janssens. Flemish photographer Frieke Janssens was shocked when she saw a video of a chain-smoking two-year-old in Indonesia. This in turn inspired her to create the ‘Smoking Kids’ photo series in 2011, featuring children dressed like adults – an actress, a boss, a housewife and more – and posing like smokers, cigarette or pipe in hand. Styled in nostalgic vintage clothes that nod to an undetermined old-fashioned era, the kids look oddly convincing mimicking smokers’ casual stances as they blow smoke from their noses and flick out their wrists. ’Smoking Kid’s’ certainly makes one consider the cultural significance of smoking and how it impacts children, if we can’t escape it, do they even stand a chance? The children that took part in the project were aged between four and nine years old. Of course, there were no real cigarettes on set, instead, chalk and sticks of cheese were the prop stand ins, while candles and incense provided the wisps of smoke. Janssens does a variety of photo projects, some personal, some for advertising.

#chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #friekejanssesns #smokingkids #art #photography #belgium

FJ smoking kids Belga girl