Sunday, 16 October 2011

BBC London radio 15th October


Grace Jones wearing a... maternity dress!


A late 20th-century style in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism.

(Just in case you were wondering)

The V&A shop always has lines reflecting its current exhibitions, and postmodernism is the name of the game until 15th January.

There's furniture, like this set of Carlton shelves designed by Ettore Sottsass for the Memphis design group in 1981. They were pretty rad in their time, pushing against the idea that conventional shapes and colours were the only options.


...and a lot of jewellery, like this ring from a hand carved collection from Helveta Vyotlag, normally based in Brooklyn.

She's a sculptor too, and she takes "the sculpture out of the gallery and shrinks it down to the body". Bright colours, oversized angular geometric forms, and the simplicity of modern Danish jewellery are all in evidence.

This ring, like any coloured pieces in the collection (which includes a crazy yellow wedge ring - literally a wedge, and a green rhombus ring, yes, a literal rhombus), has been sculpted from poplar, and dyed. 

Boulder ring, £50

...colourful headphones fit the bill too, it seems, which is good, since they're colourful and cool:

Spitfire Retro Headphones, £26

One of my favourites, due to love of using the postal service, are these 100 postcards:

...which at £14, is a bargain.

Have a look online ( at all the other products, but one last particular mention for music fans is an album, a collaboration with the V&A and EMI...a selection of post modern tunes. Really! From 1970 - 1990, artists featured include Blondie, David Bowie, Heaven 17, and Culture Club...  


Cabinet of Curiosities

Ben Pentreath Ltd ( is a shop in Bloomsbury (17 Rugby Street) who specialise in searching out beautiful particulars for the home. It's a small shop which sells linen, furniture, lights, vases, antoques, a menagerie of lovely things from all over the world. 

For instance:

orange juice glasses, £8.50

Boat of Life letterpress print (using traditional wood and metal type), £25

Aardvark manifesto, letterpress, £25

and these plates by The John Derian Company, New York, which are created by artist John Derian from collages of antique fruit, flower and animal prints, ledgers that are hundreds of years old, and letters. They're re-printed and pieced together in layers under glass. Quite beautiful:



currently out of stock, sob, my favourite, but ask. £38

Well, from 19th October to the 5th November, there will be a magical change, and the shop will suddenly be filled to the brim with 'curios' designed by Ben Pentreath and artist Bridie Hall. They tell me the Cabinet of Curiosities will be a marvel, and we should expect "handcrafted interior objects, which includes intaglio boxes, decorative decoupage, serious sets of geometric solids and country-house scented candles".

Good for - eek - Christmas presents. 
I'm informed by one very diary-conscious and organised friend that Christmas is only 10 weeks away, so now I feel justified in using the word. I have determined to start planning and doing things early this year, to avoid the scenario that happened last year - making lots of Christmas cards too late to send any. That's what's called big ambition, small sense of time.


I mentioned the Museum of Everything last time, when they were in Selfridges (they still are, until 25th October). But I failed to mention their own shop (, which was an oversight, to say the least.

It's a little shopping pond of pure quirk. Go there for things you don't necessarily need, but would like. Such as:

a card for any occasion, £3

a card for a specific general sort of sorry. Sad, but handy. £3

Tom Wagener print, £80

There are also clothes, homewares, more prints, crayons, notebooks. Almost everything.


Frieze Art Fair

I can hardly leave out Frieze ( - on until Sunday in Regent's Park, there are over 170 galleries, and thousands of pieces of art for sale (1,532 actually). If money isn't burning a hole in your pocket, it's just a good excuse to see a LOT of art. Don't miss the sculpture park outside either. For a virtual tour before you go, have a look here (

Caravan shop

...a favourite haunt of mine on Redchurch Street, has moved, but it's a secret where to for now (as soon as I know, I'll tell you). In the meantime, you can still buy some of the lovely stock online ( Like this pineapple candle holder that you can put on a plain wall to make it stupendous: 


or these, my all time staples for post-able presents (they come wrapped in a bijou little package that fits in an envelope) - and, many times, they've become personal gifts to myself...

              angel wings for candles. £5.50

Let us know when you have a new address, Caravan! 


Shoreditch Vintage Fair

             not as mean as it seems

For fans of clothes and accessories from bygone eras, today is your day. From 12-5pm at Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, there will be 50 stallholders selling all kinds of vintage goods from the 1940s to the 1980s. Enjoy!


Sample sale

Today! It's the London Designer Sale, happening in Hampstead Town Hall Centre, 213 Haverstock Hill. Until  6pm tonight you can get up to 80% off labels that include: Aquascutum, Belstaff, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Coccinelle, Carniani, Chloe, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Fendi, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Moschino, Patrick Cox, Prada, Sergio Rossi, Thomas Pink, Tods, Vivienne Westwood & YSL… 

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