Van Cleef & Arples Perlee collection launch.


I was delighted to go along to the launch of the Perlee collection at Van Cleef & Arples flagship store on Bond Street on Tuesday 18th May. The collection is fresh and radiant and glows with exquisit charm. The pieces all have poetic simplicity.




























I love these two beautiful Rose Gold pieces. Rose Gold is my favourite gold and I love the special warmth that it has. I like the classic Van Cleef & Arples design of the Alhambra four leaf clover which can also be seen as an eastern or Greek cross if you so chose.


It should be noted that as well a being beautiful Gold as a mysterious medicinal property that was known as far back as ancient Egypt. Joints that are close to gold that is worn every day almost never become arthritic. There a small gold fact that proves it is good for you in body and soul. Back to Perlee. I took some time looking at the collection as there are a wide variety of pieces based around a central theme. The wonderful Perlee detail.









The collection is in White and Rose Gold

that gives each piece a very special radiance.

They are also two metals that complement

each other beautifully so it's easy to pick up

several pieces from this collection and wear

them together.





The set of White and Rose Gold

bracelets to the right shows this well. 













I think nearly all the pieces in this collection can be worn by men and women just as easily. This is statement Jewellery but it can be easily worn to the office as well as a dinner party or evening event. It's very versatile.























Here are my last two favourite pieces from the collection. As a girl who likes all things Greek and Ancient the bracelet (known as the pink cuff) for me has strong overtones of the Classical World of Greece and Rome. The earrings above come in three different sizes so there is a shape to suit every face. I think they are simple and have a clean cut elegance but they also catch the light beautifully when you wear them.


I think that this collection well-named perlee as the pieces do have that special lustre that you find in pearls and like pearls they can and should be worn every day. I would suggest if it possible do make an effort to see the pieces in a Van Cleef & Arples Boutique or look them up through the Van Cleef & Arples web site. Simply superb.


I'd like to thank Van Cleef & Arples for their hospitality and also for the above images.




The Cannes Film Festival 2010 & St Tropez fashions.


Before the Palm D'Or was announced we where treated to a feast of fashion, jewellery and colour as the temperatures climed on the French Riviera.







































Cate Blanchette (C) Van Cleef & Arples -                           Above cord detail earrings and the vintage bracelet

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images                      sabres japonais.



Van Cleef & Arpels where among the houses that helped make the beautiful ladies at the Canne Film Festival look even more special. Above Cate Blanchette wore an outfit by Armani Privee and jewellery (detailed to the right) by Van Cleef and Arples for the photocall for Robin Hood (my thanks again the Van Cleef & Arples and also to Armarni Privee).










                                                                                                                   At the Premier of You Will Meet a Tall Dark   

                                                         Stranger Diane Lane wore a beautiful floor 

                                                         sweeping  gown by Monique Lhuillier matched                                                          beautifully with earrings, a bracelet and a                                                          broche by Van Cleef & Arples. All of these three 

                                                         pieces where vintage from the 1920s and 

                                                         30s and complimented the dresses classic Silver                                                          Screen look.   







                                                                                                                 (C) Diane Lane ©Van Cleef & Arpels - Photo by 

                                                                                         Christian Alminana/Getty Images







For the Red Carpet Premier of Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, Cate Blanchette wore a dress from Alexander McQueen's penultimate collection, pre-fall 2010. What can I say, it's a work of poignant beauty. The dress is Black in off-the-shoulder style and reaches to ancle length as all formal evening dresses should. The front and back of the dress show detail of a Silver Eagle in flight. I think it's beautiful couture with the modern lustre of McQueen magic.




































Cate Blanchett ©Van Cleef & Arpels -                      Cate Blanchett ©Van Cleef & Arpels - 

Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images              Photo by  Venturelli/Getty Image


Cate Blanchette wore Jewels from the Van Cleef & Arples High Jewellery Maison. The pieces included;

Oiseaux de Paradis” earrings, white gold and diamonds, 2010 – from Van Cleef & Arpels Oiseaux de Paradis Collection 

“Ludo” bracelet, platinum and diamonds, 1934 – from Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection

 “Ludo Hexagone” bracelet, platinum and diamonds, 1937 – from Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection.


I love the way that Van Cleef have used contemporary and vintage pieces to dress the acresses at Cannes this year. I really shows that good jewellery is an investment and can be worn for many years and passed on through the family.





Chelsea Flower Show 24th May 2010.


I was delighted to get a look at some of the amazing gardens this year and meet some very stylish ladies attending the show. I met Twiggy wearing a beautful purple suit with magenta shirt. The material had a beautiful shimmering effect and looked very elegant. Twiggy has a rose named after her which I saw at the Harkness Roses exhibit. Lesley Garrett opted for a more subtle palette and wore a summer jacket, skirt and blouse in white and sand colours.


Judith Chalmers and her companion where enjoying the flowers and I spent a little time talking to them about the show. Very lovely. Judith was perfectly dressed for what turned out to be a very hot summer day and wore a beautiful white linen dress and a powder blue shirt. She completed her outfit with a very interesting necklace adding a bright touch of colour to the outfit. Lovely.


It wasn't just the ladies who where turned out well. Richard Caring (and lovely wife Jacqueline), the owner of Annabel's, George and Harry's Bar cut a very dashing figure. He was certainly the best dressed of the men that I saw and with such a strong background in the fashion world it was not a surprise. Other well turned out gentleman included the ever dapper Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Alan Titchmarsh and Olivier Baussan founder of L'Occitane (see below).



There are surprises round every corner at Chelsea

and I was delighted to meet several very beautiful

Geisha ladies entertaining Chelsea Flower Show

guests with traditional Japanese music and lots of




There where also some floral hand-made

parasols touring the show and here below

are images of two that I snapped.

Very creative and a fun way to bring flowers

and plants into fashion. Very Eco-friendly

























There where also some interesting discoveries to make such as the Bill Brown Bags Ltd fun range of colourful stripey Garden/anytime bags and some fun garden picnic accessories. Thanks to Bill for letting me use images of the stand. A must see is the stunning floral print paintings by Linda Meaney, please see for more beautiful examples of her work. I have her daughter to thank for allowing me to photograph her stand.





























The L'Occitane garden was very beautiful, a wonderful traditional French country garden and I believe that Olivier Baussan himself was there on the 24th to see the completed Garden. The garden uses traditional plants from the L'Occitane region. The garden brings to life the beauty of the region that inspired him to create the L'Occitane products that we all love. I have a sample of the products on the Products I Like Page in this web site. Please check it out.


To learn more about the L'Occitane garden at Chelsea 2010 please click here




































I'd like to thank the L'Occitane team for all there hospitality on a wonderfully hot day. I think the weather really suited those provence blooms and I know this garden is a Chelsea favourite in 2010. 



With my eye keenly looking for fashion as well as the amazing gardens I found the most beautiful Rose Chelsea dress at the garden of sponsors MG Investments. Roger Platts designed this Gold medal winning garden, his first at Chelsea for six years. Here are two pictures showing the dress in full and more details of the roses cascading down the dress to form a simple pretty train.















































The Christian before Dior garden by a Touch of France Garden Design. A beautiful small garden recreating the garden in northern France that Mr Dior knew as a boy. This drew a lot of attention from gardeners and fashion followers alike. It's elegant and simple and has a 'breath of fresh air' quality to it. The design is classic and like the creations of the house that Mr Dior founded later as an adult.


I had been told a while ago that Mr Dior had spent a good part of his childhood in his mother's garden in northen France and I think that this must have had some influence on his later work and inspiration. His mother was very inspired by the classic English Country Garden but used many French plants. There is, I believe, something about gardening and working with colour and design that does relate to fashion. There is a similar creative methodology involved that encompases creativity, daring and most of all intuition. Perhaps one day we will see John Galliano designing a garden at Chelsea! 




































A report on A Blush of Rose about Chelsea Flower Show wouldn't be complete without some pictures of Roses. Here is a little present from the show to you. This was my favourite bouquet of Roses that I saw and beneath on of my favourite views of the Rose gardens with my favourite Chandos and Bourbon Roses in view.























































It was, as always a very wonderful Chelsea Flower Show 2010. I saw a lot of well turned out ladies escorted by handsome gentlemen or other well dresses lady friends. Amongst the press teams I saw a very well dressed Nicky Chapman in a beautiful simple green dress.  I am also happy to report that as ever Her Majesty, the Queen was looking radient in a light blue dress that featured bold, possibly floral inspired patterning. It was very lovely.




Charbonnel et Walker and Miller Harris party.

Chocolate meets fragrance evening 24th May.



London's most eminent traditional English Chocolatier Charbonnel et Walker has been collaborating with Couture perfume house Miller Harris and the result is a delicious fusion of scent and taste.


This was this the sixth evening event highlighting the collaboration between two of Mayfair's most quintissentially English boutiques. Miller Harris was founded by Lyn Harris in 2000 building on an a succesful carrer as a 'nose' in the perfume industry. Miller Harris has a truely beautiful line of fragrances in the four traditional areas of scent Citrus, Wood, Floral and Oriental.


The company has a 'ready to wear' line of Fragrance grouped around themes and also offers a bespoke fragrance service allowing you to have a 'couture' sent all of your own or to give to others from yourself. Former clients include Jane Birkin who's fragrance is now sold through Miller Harris for everyone to enjoy.


The team at Charbonnel et Walker have worked closley with Miller Harris to create matches and intriguing contrasts of good taste between the fragrances and chocolates. It's tough work but someone has to do it for the sake of sensual discovery I think!


My favourite combinations where are as follows.


The Malt Whiskey Hazelnut Crowns and the fragrance Feuilles de Tabac, Hazelnut and woody deep notes always go together.


Two traditional Charbonnel et Walker favourites the Rose and Violet creams also found good matches at with Miller Harris. The Rose cream was, for me, perfectly matched with Fleur Oriental and the Violet Cream was twinned with Noix de Tubereuse. I really loved the Noix de Tubereuse fragrance it's very beautiful and fresh.


During the evening Adam Lee explained to the delighted group that it isn't the % of cocoa that you see on the packaging that tells you the chocolate is good. It's all about the beans. Good beans = good chocolate. It's a very simple equation. Charbonnel et Walker use aound 58% for the dark chocolate that coats the classic Rose and Violet creams and my personnal favourite, the Framboise.


As ladies and gentlemen mingled and ate chocolate and explored the delicious perfumes I think a lot of the guests really appreciated that there is a sensory link between taste and smell and it can be a wonderful adventure linking the two. Afterall this is what we do everyday in cooking, well it's what I do, so it seems like a very natural exploration. Ruth from Charbonnel et Waker explained to me that her team spent many hours working with Miller Harris to link up the fragrances and chocolates and they do not give their matches as the difinitive choice by any means. You are quite welcome to buy some treats from Charbonnel and pop along to Miller Harris and make up your mind!


From my first visits to Charbonnel when I was a very little thing exploring Mayfair the Framboise has nearky always been my favourite chocolate. It was married to the fragrance Geranium Bourbon and this was my absolute favourite combination.


The careful reader may note that I'd been to the Chelsea Flower Show the same day and I think my nose was already primed for Floral scents. This could explain it but do you need to explain why you like somehting so much, no not really!


Coming a close second was the pairing of the Chocolate Truffle and the fragrance Coeur d'Ete. If for some strange reason Truffles became the only chocolate ever to be sold I could survive quite happily. Coeur d'Ete is a stunning floral fragrance that beams a beautiful french summer straight into your thoughts.


Another inspired choice was Fleur De Bois and the Port and Cranberry Truffle. Fleur de bois was inspired by Lyn Harris' walks in a secret garden within Regents Park. 


It was a wonderful evening and I would like to thank Charbonnel et Walker and Miller Harris for being such wonderful hosts.


For more information about these individual scents please see the Miller Harris web site There is a lot to explore and I warmly recommend that you do. 




Chanel Les Pop Ups d'Ete 2010


Chanel's new early summer line has popped-up and sold out in many places already. My favourite colour is the Riviera Pink and one of last ones in London 'popped' my way in mid May, it was a nice unexpected surprise.


Here it is in all it's pinkness and it fits well with A Blush of Rose's colour scheme. There are two other colours that I like to wear so far this summer. One is a shimmering pearl- effect polish called Moonstone from Helena Rubenstein's Ritual Colour nail polish line that I've had for several years and the other is Bronze/Gold colour. Bronze and Gold always look good in the summer and Chanel also have a pretty nail colour called Gold Lame (with the accent 'aigu', this is not Lame nail varnish in any sense). 
























































































A Blush of Rose

         May 2010

Beauty, Grace & Style


(C) Angela Cliffe 2009-2013.